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Home Classical Satie Erik Erik Satie - Piano Music (Yitkin Seow) [2004]

Erik Satie - Piano Music (Yitkin Seow) [2004]

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Erik Satie - Piano Music (Yitkin Seow) [2004]

01 - Gymnopédie 1
02 - Gymnopédie 2
03 - Gymnopédie 3
04 - Gnossienne 1
05 - Gnossienne 2
06 - Gnossienne 3
07 - Gnossienne 4
08 - Gnossienne 5
09 - Gnossienne 6
10 - Embryons desséchés- 1. d'Holothurie
11 - Embryons desséchés- 2. d'Edriophtalma
12 - Embryons desséchés- 3. de Podophthalma
13 - Croquis et agaceries- 1. Tyrolienne turque
14 - Croquis et agaceries- 2. Danse maigre
15 - Croquis et agaceries- 3. Españaña
16 - Sports et Divertissements- 01.Choral inappétissant
17 - Sports et Divertissements- 02.La Balançoire
18 - Sports et Divertissements- 03.La Casse
19 - Sports et Divertissements- 04.La Comédie Italienne
20 - Sports et Divertissements- 05.La Réveil de la Mariée
21 - Sports et Divertissements- 06.Colin-Maillard
22 - Sports et Divertissements- 07.La Pêche
23 - Sports et Divertissements- 08.Le Yachting
24 - Sports et Divertissements- 09.Le Bain de mer
25 - Sports et Divertissements- 10.Le Carnaval
26 - Sports et Divertissements- 11.Le Golf
27 - Sports et Divertissements- 12.La Pieuvre
28 - Sports et Divertissements- 13.Les Courses
29 - Sports et Divertissements- 14.Les Quatre-Coins
30 - Sports et Divertissements- 15.Le Pique-nique
31 - Sports et Divertissements- 16.Le Water-chute
32 - Sports et Divertissements- 17.Le Tango
33 - Sports et Divertissements- 18.Le Traineu
34 - Sports et Divertissements- 19.Le Flirt
35 - Sports et Divertissements- Le Feu d'Artifice
36 - Sports et Divertissements- Le Tennis
37 - Heures Séculaires et Instantanées- 1.Obstacles venimeux
38 - Heures Séculaires et Instantanées- 2.Crépuscule matinal
39 - Heures Séculaires et Instantanées- 3.Affolements granitiques
40 - Le trois valses distinguées- 1.Sa taille
41 - Le trois valses distinguées- 2.Son binocle
42 - Le trois valses distinguées- 3.Ses jambes
43 - Sonatine bureaucratique
44 - Nocturne 1
45 - Nocturne 2
46 - Nocturne 3
47 - Nocturne 4
48 - Nocturne 5
Yitkin Seow – piano


Yitkin Seow's 1989 recording of Erik Satie's popular miniatures for Hyperion is a fine choice among a handful of excellent recordings. Whether or not one has a preference for the critically acclaimed albums by Pascal Rogé or Aldo Ciccolini, Seow's polished performances are in the same league and differ only slightly in terms of rubato, dynamics, and phrasing. Satie's music is somewhat rarefied, eccentric, and vaguely surrealistic, but also limited in emotional range and style. Pianists must contend with his thin textures, abrupt changes of mood, and unusual harmonic voicings in much the same way: with refined delicacy, as in the three Gymnopédies, the six Gnossiennes, and the five Nocturnes, or with irreverent, punchy vigor, as needed in Sports et divertissements, Heures séculaires et instantanées, and the Sonatine bureaucratique. Seow's playing is on the subdued side -- the very antithesis of Romantic pianism, which Satie would have applauded -- and his interpretations have a veiled quality that makes these short pieces enigmatic and perhaps mistier than might be expected. Hyperion's recording, while pleasant, is also a little muted, so a higher volume setting is advised to hear all the details, especially in the extremely soft Gymnopédies. ---Blair Sanderson, Rovi


We have had to wait far too long for this first solo recording from Yitkin Seow, for he is an excellent pianist with a keen sense of style. I would like to have from him and Hyperion such mainstream works as the Brahms Paganini Variations or the Chopin B minor Sonata, music that he plays very well; but failing that his artistry is fully evident in the present Satie collection. The recital begins with the composer's most popular pieces, the three Gymnopédies, sensitively done but, given their simplicity and Greek inspiration, arguably just a tiny bit too beautified (or cosmeticiz.ed) by rubato compared with the more straightforward Peter Lawson on his Classics for Pleasure disc. The same goes for the Gnossiennes, but I hasten to add that Scow's freedom did not worry me seriously and he does characterize each piece welt, thus avoiding monotony. In drier pieces such as the Embryons iesséchés he gives us wit and point, playing the 'fake endings'—and the references to Chopin's Funeral March and other music—with just enough humour to emphasize their jokes yet not overdoing them. It is similar with the 'Clementine' stylization of the Sonatine bureaucratique. Altogether this is an attractive and well-chosen Satie collection, well recorded in St Barnabas's Church in North London with an acceptable degree of reverberation. --- Gramophone [12/1989]

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