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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Erik Satie - 4 Handed Piano Works (Pascal Rogé; Jean-Philippe Collard)


Composer: Erik Satie
  • (01-07) 3 Morceaux en forme de poire
  • (08-14) Parade, ballet
  • (15) Sarabande No. 3, for solo piano
  • (16-20) La belle excentrique, fantasie sérieuse
  • (21-23) Aperçus désagréable
  • (24) Désespoir agréable, for solo piano
  • (25) Songe-Creux, for solo piano
  • (26-29) En habit de cheval
  • (30-32) 3 Petites pièces montées
  • (33-35) Choses vues à droite et à gauche; sans lunettes, for piano & violin

Pascal Rogé, piano
Jean-Philippe Collard, piano (1-14, 16-23, 26-32)
Chantal Juillet, violin (33-35)

Date: 2000
Label: Decca



A Satie collection that promises much but reveals that this idiosyncratic composer needs an approach uniquely tailored to his style

Both Roge and Collard have in the past won golden opinions for their recordings of Poulenc and Faure respectively. Both have fine techniques and have of course been familiar with their native tradition from their earliest years. The question remains: what part does Satie play in that tradition?

This disc was recorded on a Steinway grand in St George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, and neither pianist feels inclined to pass up the opportunity. Parade being designed for an orchestra in a theatre, Satie's piano-duet version should presumably be given the full treatment, but I have doubts about whether this is the best option for the more intimate pieces such as the Trois morceaux, which incorporates bits of Satie's cabaret music. It's worth remembering that Ricardo Vines, who was involved in many Satie first performances from 1912 on, always played an Erard.

My strongest disagreement, though, concerns the cavalier approach to Satie's musical texts. Listening to this version of Parade without a score, you'd never guess that Satie asks for a constant pulse, with the occasional rallentando, of 76 to the minute. Here the pulse varies from 35 to 112! Elsewhere the team often rides roughshod through tempo and dynamic markings, thereby missing out on several Satie jokes. The added bass octave at the end of the Third Sarabande (not to mention the extraordinary G flat four bars before the end) and the vulgar plonk to 'finish off' the Morceaux show that my question about the French tradition needs pondering. A great disappointment.

-- Roger Nichols, Gramophone


Erik Satie (17 May 1866 – 1 July 1925) was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, Surrealism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd. In addition to his body of music, Satie was "a thinker with a gift of eloquence" who left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American culture chronicle Vanity Fair.


Pascal Rogé (born 6 April 1951) is a French pianist. At the age of 11, he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire and won first prize for both piano and chamber music by the age of 15. Rogé's particular strengths lie in his sensitive and personal interpretations of 20th century French composers; he has made recordings of complete cycles of Ravel, Poulenc, and Satie, among others. His repertoire also includes d'Indy, Saint-Saëns, as well as the great German masters -- Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven.


Jean-Philippe Collard (born 27 January 1948 in Mareuil-sur-Ay, Marne) is a renowned French pianist who is known for his interpretations of the works of Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns. At 16 he won First Prize at the Paris Conservatory of Music. He is also a winner of the Gabriel Fauré Award. In addition, Collard has won a First Prize from the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition, the Albert Roussel Award and the Cziffra International Competition. Collard is considered one of the greatest exponents of the French school and a prolific recording artist with more than thirty titles to his credit.


FLAC, tracks
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  2. Deutsche Welle: Dokumentation

    Satiesfiktionen - Spaziergänge mit Erik Satie


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