The protean and prolific Jeroen van Veen turns his attention to Erik Satie’s complete piano works for a 9-CD boxed set that ties in with the composer’s 150th birthday year. In a way, the collection is completer than complete. It includes all of Satie’s published and unpublished works for solo piano and piano duo, piano arrangements of theater scores as Le fils des étoiles, Darius Milhaud’s transcription of Cinéma.
This third volume of Erik Satie's complete solo piano music using Satie scholar Robert Orledge's new Salabert Edition focusses on music composed between 1892–97, including theatrical scores such as the revolutionary uspud, and the Danses Gothiques and famous Vexations written while the composer was hiding from a tempestuous love affair. The period closes with Satie composing in what he called 'a more flexible and accessible way with the final Gnossienne and the six Pieces froides'.
Following his compendious sets of music by the outstanding figures of Minimalism such as Philip Glass, Terry Riley and Michael Nyman, Jeroen van Veen returns to Brilliant Classics with new recordings of the grandfather, inspiring figure of the genre, Erik Satie. Not that Satie himself would have recognised the term, coined by Nyman in the early 70s, but in saying new things in a quiet voice, swimming against the tide of Romanticism, he influenced not only Debussy, Ravel, Les Six and countless artists of any medium…
Glinka wrote a series of delightful polkas, mazurkas, galops and waltzes that were predominantly intended for fashionable drawing rooms and salons. He also wrote more substantial pieces such as the Grande Valse in G major and the Polonaise in E major which were initially scored for orchestra. Some pieces were also based on pre-existing melodies such as the Variations on a theme of Mozart, which is inspired by a melody drawn from Die Zauberflöte and the attractive Tarantella in A minor, a rhythmic adaptation of the Russian folk song In the field there stood a birch tree.
No one could pretend that Dvorak's solo piano music stands up either to his best orchestral and chamber scores or to the keyboard music of his more piano-wise contemporaries, from Gottschalk through Brahms to Fauré. But while it's rarely deep or especially idiomatic in its handling of the instrument, much of it has a melodic abundance and a rhythmic vitality that make it more engaging than its overall neglect would lead you to believe. Especially given the absence of the Kvapil cycle from the current catalog, therefore, the inauguration of Inna Poroshina's new series is most welcome.