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Aldo Ciccolini
Satie: Œuvres pour piano

It's simple: in his various realizations of the piano music of Erik Satie, Aldo Ciccolini set a standard that has yet to be bettered. This compilation, drawn from recordings made between 1966 and 1971, is consequently the best of the best. Ciccolini always played Satie's music as though it had been written by Claude Debussy, not by some cheap charlatan or uneducated primitive (which, to an extent that is still debatable, Satie was). The result is that these seemingly simple piano pieces acquire a tonal allure that is as surprising as it is undeniable. They possess an understated sophistication that points directly toward Ravel and Poulenc, at the same time providing an opening to the minimalist aesthetic of the later 20th century. Ciccolini's playing is pliant and graceful, and under his fingers the music seems to breathe and come alive. What more could a composer or a listener want?

Satie was a bit of a rebel and his influence is probably more noticed today than during his life. His composition often sound more like jazz of the 1990s than classical music of the late 1800s. Even in his titles he rebeled against the trend to give compositions sweet titles and chose instead such things as "Jack in the Box," or "dried fetuses." His intent was not, in my opinion, to shock, as his music is not at all shocking, but to jar the musical establishment away for from "traditional" thinking.
This recording is, to my knowledge, one of the few with all of the sixty piano pieces. Usually a few are left out. Aldo Ciccolini does a marvelous job on this music. There is no attempt to doll it up with unnecessary flourishes, all of the pieces are played straight ahead.
This music is not for everyone. However, if you have an interest in very good piano music and an appreciation for the roots of modern music, you will love these CDs.

Brand New sealed 2CD
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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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