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Anne Queffélec
Satie: Gymnopédies; Gnossiennes; Sports et Divertissements

Anne Queffélec brings plenty of style and sass to her 1988 disc of piano works by Erik Satie. With clear tone, brilliant technique, and a preference for clean textures, the Parisian pianist might not seem like everybody's first choice to play the sui generis composer's highly individualistic -- some might say highly eccentric -- piano music. Though Queffélec remains true to herself, she finds a way to accommodate to Satie. She does it mostly through deft phrasing and subtle use of rubato, keeping the lines and harmonies intact, but shaping them for maximum effectiveness. Some might miss the mist of overtones with which other pianists infuse Satie's music, preferring the evocative to the explicit, but Queffélec's lucidity doesn't strip the music of its strangeness, it highlights it. Listeners who enjoy her approach to Trois Gymnopédies, Satie's greatest hit, are likely to be delighted with the rest of the disc. Virgin Classic's digital sound is cool and a bit distant, but some might say that suits the music.

1 Gnossiennes (6), for piano by Erik Satie

2 Véritables préludes flasques pour un chien by Erik Satie

3 Vieux séquins et vieilles cuirasses by Erik Satie

4 Chapitres tournés en tous sens by Erik Satie

5 Gymnopédies (3) by Erik Satie

6 Embryons desséchés by Erik Satie

7 Je te veux by Erik Satie

8 Sonatine bureaucratique by Erik Satie

9 Heures séculaires et instantanées by Erik Satie

10 Le Piccadilly by Erik Satie

11 Avant-dernières pensées by Erik Satie

12 Sports et divertissements (21) by Erik Satie

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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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