LABELS: Mandala MAN
WORKS: Parade; Trois petites pièces montées; En habit de cheval; Trois morceaux en forme de poire; Aperçus désagréables; La belle excentrique
PERFORMER: Dominique Merlet, Jean-Pierre Armengaud (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 4882 (distr. Harmonia Mundi)
Although Satie’s piano works are not the most technically challenging in the repertoire, and musically some are deliberately banal, they are remarkably difficult to perform successfully.
The works on this disc range from the mystical to the cynically cerebral and the frivolous. Unfortunately, Merlet and Armengaud are notably less wide-ranging than Satie in their emotions and only provide frustrating glimpses of their capacity for subtleties of dynamic shading. Nevertheless, a love of the music is apparent in Trois morceaux en forme de poire and En habit de cheval. Elsewhere it lingers hazily in the background – the sense of enjoyment having been purged by the constrictions of the studio, leaving the erroneous impression of the pianists blandly note-bashing. Christopher Dingle