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Boomkat Product Review:
Erik Satie is one of those composers who it seems impossible to get away from, I almost reference him as a reflex action now - minimal but strangely beautiful piano work? I know I'll drop in Erik Satie's name, then people will know what I'm talking about. Of course, we're actually only talking about Satie's seminal 'Trois Gymnopédies' - and the great composer's work stretched far beyond merely three compositions for piano. This disc compiles work Satie composed between 1913 and 1924; collaborations with renowned artist Pablo Picasso, a piece written for the French Futurist dancer and poet Valentine de Saint-Point and the humorous snipe at rival composer Maurice Ravel entitled 'Three Disgustingly Precious Waltzes' and are not always what you may have come to expect from the composer. Indeed only a portion of the disc is solo piano, we also have pipe organ and even orchestral works making up a some of the work here but each and every piece has the unmistakable mark of Satie. What I like about the works on here is that we see a different side to the composer's personality, although much is made of his staid but admittedly heartbreaking piano pieces, here we see a willingness to experiment which is more than endearing. He clearly had good friendships with the crazier-minded fellers in the art world, the people who were truly trying to change things, change people's perceptions and ideas about what art really is, and this willingness from Satie to take these themes into his own composition is enthralling. Made up as usual of lots of very small pieces which fit together into one coherent whole, whether he is writing for piano or for a full orchestra every moment on this album is breathtaking and still stands the test of time, and I think that in essence is all we can ask from a composer. It's no surprise that he is still as influential as he is - this little known body of work has captivated us here this afternoon. Highly recommended.