Sofia Gubaidulina, composer

Sofia Gubaidulina, composer
Sofia Gubaidulina

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Alexandre Tharaud plays Erik Satie – Part II: Duos (Audio video)

Στο δεύτερο CD, με τίτλο "Duos", του διπλού άλμπουμ "Avant-dernières pensées" με μουσική για πιάνο του Ερίκ Σατί, o Αλεξάντρ Ταρό, ένας από τους μεγαλύτερους πιανίστες της γενιάς του, συγκεντρώνει γύρω του μόνιμους συνεργάτες και φίλους, όπως τον πιανίστα Eric Le Sage, τη δημοφιλή τραγουδίστρια Juliette, τη βραβευμένη Γερμανίδα βιολονίστρια Isabelle Faust, τον τενόρο Jean Delescluse και τον τρομπετίστα David Guerrier, για να τον συνοδεύσουν σε μια σειρά από ντουέτα του Γάλλου συνθέτη, τραγούδια και κομμάτια για πιάνο τέσσερα χέρια, πιάνο και βιολί ή πιάνο και τρομπέτα. Το άλμπουμ κυκλοφόρησε από τη γαλλική δισκογραφική εταιρεία Harmonia Mundi το 2009.

Alexandre Tharaud has been recording a wide variety of music for harmonia mundi, from Bach and Couperin (on piano) to Chopin, Ravel (the complete solo works) and the contemporary Thierry Pιcou. His new two-CD Satie album is elegant in several ways: certainly in Theraud's performance, but also in harmonia mundi's packaging design, including a 76-page booklet, and in concept, with the first CD devoted to pieces for solo piano, and the second a collection of "duos": for piano four-hands, piano/violin, piano/trumpet (for one very short piece), and voice with piano accompaniment.

The "Duos" CD opens with another of Satie's most familiar works, Trois Morceaux en forme de poire (Three Pieces [well, really seven] in the Shape of a Pear), for piano four-hands, with Tharaud joined by Ιric Le Sage, a specialist in both Schumann and Poulenc. Later on in the program the two pair up again for La Belle Excentrique and the Milhaud arrangement of Cinιma. Besides (needless to say) playing as one, they bring both a no-nonsense vigor and an ingratiating wit to the music.

A particular striking feature of the "Duos" disc is the performance of four cabaret songs, featuring the chanteuse Juliette. The most famous of these music-hall tunes, Je teveux, is given a very curious reading (at least, to the ears of a listener not very knowledgeable about music-hall performance traditions): Juliette, who is in her 40s, delivers the song, especially the high notes, in a frail, quavering though certainly characterful voice, a bit like Hermione Gingold in Gigi. She sounds more robust in the other three songs, and Tharaud is swaggering (though not overly so) in his accompaniments, whether in waltz or march rhythms. A fifth cabaret song, Allons-y Chochotte, originally written for the same female performer as some of the others, is given to the tenor Jean Delescluse. Perhaps this is because the persona of the song is male – or because Delescluse, a "legit" tenor well known in French opera houses, is steeped in the style of the French popular chanson (as distinct from the mιlodie, the art song) and delivers a spectacular rendition of the song, suitably placed as the finale for the CD program. Delescluse also sings, with lovely voice in a more art-song style, several mιlodies of Satie, most of which have tricky wordplay. One is grateful for harmonia mundi's supplying the original texts with translations and even footnotes.

The "Duos" CD also contains some rarely recorded violin pieces, including a suite whose title translates as Things seen to the right and the left (without glasses), with brief movements called Hypocritical Chorale, Groping Fugue, and Muscular Fantasy. The chorale is modal and "minimalist" – it could have been written yesterday. The fugue ceases to be a fugue after a few bars – it seems to want to turn into a music-hall piece – while the fantasy is playful, a sort of mini-anthology of violin flourishes. A 3-minute Embarquement pour Cythère is somewhat more substantial, though delicate – seemingly melancholy or wistful. Isabelle Faust is the more than capable partner to Tharaud. Finally, there is a very short piece for keyboard (originally organ but here recorded for the first time on piano) and for about 12 seconds a trumpet. Titled La Statue retrouvιe, it could be called a throwaway piece, but it's fun to hear once.

The booklet essay on Satie's originality and on the works on the program is excellent; my only disappointment is that author Nicholas Southon comments on the many pieces in the order of their composition, which is of little use if one is seeking information while following along through the utterly different order of the two CDs. (It would have helped if the CD listings had included dates of composition.) But this is a small quibble in comparison with the excellence of the performances of Tharaud and his friends and the superb realism of the recorded sound.


Erik Satie (1866-1925)

150ή επέτειος από τη γέννησή του / 150th anniversary of his birth

Alexandre Tharaud plays Erik Satie
Part II: Duos

1. Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire, pour piano à quatre mains
2. Je te veux, valse chantée (texte de Henry Pacory)
3. Chez le docteur (texte de Vincent Hyspa)
4. J'avais un ami (anonyme)
5. La Diva de l'Empire (texte de Dominique Bonnaud, Numa Blès)
6. La Belle Excentrique, fantaisie Sérieuse pour piano à quatre mains
7. Choses vues à droite et à gauche (sans lunettes)
8. Cinéma (transcription de Darius Milhaud, à quatre mains)
9. Daphénéo (texte de M. God)
10. Ludions (textes de Léon Paul Fargue)
11. Le Statue Retrouvée, divertissement pour trompette en Ut et piano
12. Embarquement pour Cythère
13. Allons-y Chochette (texte de D. Durante)

Alexandre Tharaud, piano
Eric Le Sage, piano (1, 6, 8)
Juliette, chant (2-5)
Isabelle Faust, violon (7, 12)
Jean Delescluse, ténor (9, 13)
David Guerrier, trompette (11)

Harmonia Mundi 2009

(HD 1080p – Audio video)

Though he is well known for his interpretations of French keyboard music, Alexandre Tharaud has also achieved critical acclaim for his J.S. Bach and Chopin. Moreover, he has championed much contemporary music, particularly works by Mauricio Kagel and Thierry Pécou. Tharaud has even managed to mix both Baroque with modern fare in his concerts, fashioning programs built around Rameau (billed as Hommage à Rameau) and Couperin (Hommage à Couperin), wherein the pianist interleaves works by the respective Baroque master with those of modern composers like Renaud Gagneux, Gerard Pesson, Francois-Bernard Mâche, and others. Tharaud is involved in other imaginative programming activity, like an all-Satie concert he has regularly given that employs a singer and narrator for certain numbers. Tharaud has often appeared with many of the leading orchestras in Europe and collaborated in chamber works with flutist Philippe Bernold, violinist Pierre Amoyal, cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, and others. For a pianist who began recording only from about 1995, Tharaud has amassed quite a sizable discography, with 30 or more titles available from various labels, including Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Virgin Classics, and Naïve.

Alexandre Tharaud was born in Paris on December 9, 1968. His father was a singer and director of operas. At five Alexandre began piano lessons and at 14 enrolled at the Paris Conservatory. Among his teachers there were Germaine Mounier and Théodor Paraskivesco. Tharaud had later studies with Leon Fleisher, Nikita Magaloff, and Claude Helffer. In 1987 Tharaud won the Barcelona-based Maria Callas Competition and two years later finished second at the prestigious ARD Competition in Munich. He quickly drew notice on his concert tours throughout France and Europe. Naxos issued his first recording in 1995, a disc of piano works by Milhaud.

Journal Intime In 2000-2001 Tharaud recorded five volumes of the complete chamber works of Poulenc for the Naxos label. Tharaud received the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles-Cros in 2003 for his two-disc set on Harmonia Mundi of the complete solo piano works of Ravel. In October 2006, Tharaud received lavish praise when he gave the world-premiere performance of Thierry Pécou's Piano Concerto (l'Oiseau Innumérable) at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. Tharaud's versatility in chamber music was underscored in 2008-2009 by his acclaimed performances on tour throughout the U.S., South Korea, and Japan with Queyras. Tharaud's later recordings include the 2010 Virgin Classics recording of Chopin works entitled Mon Journal Intime.

Source: Robert Cummings (

Erik Satie (Photo by Man Ray)
Ο Γάλλος συνθέτης και πιανίστας Ερίκ Σατί γεννήθηκε στις 17 Μαΐου 1866 στην πόλη Ονφλέρ της Νορμανδίας.

Ο Σατί έχει γράψει τόσο μουσική για θεατρικά έργα και μπαλέτο όσο και κομμάτια για πιάνο. Οι συνθέσεις του ήταν πρωτότυπες, μινιμαλιστικές και συχνά παράξενες, ενώ η μουσική του χαρακτηρίζεται ως μουσική της καθημερινής ζωής με έντονο ρεαλισμό, μακριά από ρομαντικές εξάρσεις.

Είναι γνωστός ως εκκεντρική προσωπικότητα που, αν και δεν ήταν ιδιαίτερα δημοφιλής στο ευρύ κοινό, απολάμβανε την εκτίμηση και το θαυμασμό πολλών νέων συνθετών και μουσικών. Λίγο καιρό πριν εκδώσει τη συλλογή του "Gymnopedies" (1888), ο Σατί προτιμούσε να συστήνεται ως "gymnopedist" ενώ αργότερα ως "phonometrican" (δηλαδή εκείνος που μετρά τον ήχο), αποφεύγοντας σταθερά τον όρο «μουσικός».

Ο Ερίκ Σατί υπήρξε εκπρόσωπος της γαλλικής αβάν γκαρντ και μέχρι τα 40 του χρόνια η μουσική του δε γινόταν ιδιαίτερα σεβαστή καθώς αποτελείτο από επαναλαμβανόμενα μονότονα και απλουστευτικά μοτίβα. Τον πρώτο καιρό έπαιζε μουσική σε καμπαρέ και καφετέριες για τα προς το ζην. Το 1884 ολοκλήρωσε την πρώτη του σύνθεση αλλά ιδιαίτερη επιτυχία απέκτησε μετά το 1911 όταν ο Μωρίς Ραβέλ παρουσίασε μερικά από τα πρώτα κομμάτια του Σατί και ο Κλωντ Ντεμπυσσύ ενορχήστρωσε δύο από τα έργα της συλλογής του "Gymnopédies". Μετά από αυτή την επιτυχία, ο Σατί συνέχισε να γράφει μουσική με διάφορους παράξενους και συχνά χιουμοριστικούς τίτλους όπως: «Embryons desséchés» ( 1913 ), «Choses vues à droite et à gauche» ( 1914 ) και «Sports et divertissements» (1914).

Το 1917 η παράσταση μπαλέτου "Parade" γελοιοποίησε το όνομα του Σατί ως μουσικού με το σκάνδαλο που προκάλεσε. Τη μουσική του μπαλέτου είχε γράψει ο Σατί ενώ το σενάριο υπέγραφε ο Ζαν Κοκτώ και τα σκηνικά  ο Πάμπλο Πικάσο, για λογαριασμό του Σεργκέι Ντιαγκίλεφ των ρωσικών μπαλέτων.

Ο Σατί υπήρξε επίσης, μέλος της ομάδας των Έξι συνθετών (Groupe des Six) η οποία αντιτάχθηκε στα μουσικά κινήματα του ιμπρεσιονισμού, του σλαβισμού και του μεταβαγκνερισμού και προώθησε την καθαρή ρεαλιστική μουσική. Τα έργα του Σατί αποτέλεσαν προπομπό και εμπνευστή μεταγενέστερων καλλιτεχνικών κινημάτων όπως αυτό του μινιμαλισμού και του θεάτρου του Παραλόγου. Ο εκκεντρικός Γάλλος μουσικός πέθανε την 1η Ιουλίου του 1925 και ενταφιάστηκε στο κοιμητήριο του Αρκέιγ της Γαλλίας.

Πηγή:, 2010

Erik Satie was an important French composer from the generation of Debussy. Best remembered for several groups of piano pieces, including Trois Gymnopédies (1888), Trois Sarabandes (1887) and Trois Gnossiennes (1890), he was championed by Jean Cocteau and helped create the famous group of French composers, Les Six, which was fashioned after his artistic ideal of simplicity in the extreme. Some have viewed certain of his stylistic traits as components of Impressionism, but his harmonies and melodies have relatively little in common with the characteristics of that school. Much of his music has a subdued character, and its charm comes through in its directness and its lack of allegiance to any one aesthetic. Often his melodies are melancholy and hesitant, his moods exotic or humorous, and his compositions as a whole, or their several constituent episodes, short. He was a musical maverick who probably influenced Debussy and did influence Ravel, who freely acknowledged as much. After Satie's second period of study, he began turning more serious in his compositions, eventually producing his inspiring cantata, Socrate, considered by many his greatest work and clearly demonstrating a previously unexhibited agility. In his last decade he turned out several ballets, including Parade and Relâche, indicating his growing predilection for program and theater music. Satie was also a pianist of some ability.

As a child Erik Satie showed interest in music and began taking piano lessons from a local church organist, named Vinot. While he progressed during this period, he showed no unusual gifts. In 1879 he enrolled in the Paris Conservatory, where he studied under Descombe (piano) and Lavignac (solfeggio), but failed to meet minimum requirements and was expelled in 1882. Satie departed Paris on November 15, 1886, to join the infantry in Arras, but he found military life distasteful and intentionally courted illness to relieve himself of duty. That same year his first works were published: Elégie, Trois Mélodies, and Chanson.

The years following his military service formed a bohemian period in Satie's life, the most significant events of which would be the beginnings of his friendship with Debussy, his exposure to eastern music at the Paris World Exhibition, and his association with a number of philosophical and religious organizations (most notably the Rosicrucian Brotherhood).

In 1905 he decided to resume musical study, enrolling in the conservative and controversial Schola Cantorum, run by Vincent d'Indy. His music took on a more academic and rigorous quality, and also began to exhibit the dry wit that would become hallmarks of his style. Many of his compositions received odd titles, especially after 1910, such as Dried up embryos and Three real flabby preludes (for a dog). Some of his works also featured odd instructions for the performer, not intended to be taken seriously, as in his 1893 piano work, Vexations, which carries the admonition in the score, "To play this motif 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities".

In 1925 Satie developed pleurisy and his fragile health worsened. He was taken to St. Joseph Hospital, where he lived on for several months. He received the last rites of the Catholic Church in his final days, and died on July 1, 1925.

Source: Rovi Staff (

More photos

See also

Alexandre Tharaud plays Erik Satie – Part I: Solo (Audio video)

Alexandre Tharaud – All the posts

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