Aureole etc.




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Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Erik SATIE (1866-1925)
"Chill with Satie"

Gymnopédie No.1 Î
Première pensée rose + croix Ï
Avant-dernières pensées Ï
Caresse Ï
Gymnopédie No.3 Î
Musiques intimes et secrètes Ï
Trois Gnossiennes: Lent Ï
Trois Gnossiennes: Avec étonnement Ï
Trois Gnossiennes: Lent Ï
4ième Gnossienne: Lent Ï
Mercure – Poses plastiques en trois tableaux: La nuit Ð
Pages mystiques: {Prière} fragment – Vexations – Harmonies Ï
Gymnopédie No.1 Ñ
IV. Nocturne Ï
Sonneries de la rose + croix: Air de l’ordre – Air du grand maître – Air du grand prieur Ï
Trois Gymnopédies: Gymnopédie Nos. 1 – 3 Ð
Gerald Garcia, Guitar Î
CSFR State Philharmonic Orchestra/Peter Breiner Î
Klara Kõrmendi, Piano Ï
Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy, Jéròme Kaltenbach Ð
Ellen Sejersted Bødtker, Harp Ñ
NAXOS 8.556781 [58:19]


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I recently reviewed the Naxos disc, "Chill with Mozart", and found it a very pleasant and relaxing release. The "Chill with Satie" disc is not as successful for two reasons. First, the Mozart release has some exuberant pieces that are appropriate for a "chill" disc, because much of his exuberant music is highly fluid with rounded contours. In contrast, Satie’s exuberance is generally shown through abrupt changes and sharp edges. With this in mind, you won’t find any exuberant Satie pieces on the program, and this lack of contrast reduces one’s interest as the disc progresses.

A second problem concerns the specific programming, and it begins with the first track. Gymnopédie No.1 with strings is pure mush, and we get more of it later in the program with the same piece played by the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy. Then, we hear the 2nd and 3rd Gymnopédies with strings. There’s even a third rendition of the Gymnopédie No. 1, this time on harp. The level of repetition really is too much when you consider that Satie wrote a wealth of varied compositions, and Naxos has rendered this sublime body of music an innocuous brew.

Although not particularly nuanced, the Gnossiennes pieces are well played and on the correct instrument. However, I am skeptical that this music has much of a "chill" factor, being rather mysterious and dark. Actually, most of the music on the disc is dark and not conducive to unwinding.

"Chill with Satie" ends up being a good example of the basic problem confronting the mood disc concept. The limitations imposed on emotional breadth can be debilitating to the composer’s multi-faceted psychology and also create a gap between the desired mood and what the composer has to offer. The music of Mozart lines up nicely with the Naxos "chill" concept. Although it might appear on the surface that Satie would also be a good match, the disc is ample evidence to the contrary. His exuberant music can’t be used because of its abrasiveness, and the majority of the remainder has a serious demeanor not in keeping with chilling-out. The disc’s repetitive element and dubious value of strings are additional factors depleting the worthiness of the recording.

Don Satz



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