Erik Satie \ Musique de la Rose + Croix + Pages Mystiques + Uspud 2xCD [LTMCD 2469]
Musique de la Rose + Croix is a double disc set of solo piano music collecting Satie's enigmatic Rosicrucian pieces (1891-1894), together with an instrumental version of his ballet score Uspud (1892) and the meditative works collected as Pages Mystiques (1893).
For a short period Erik Satie was appointed official composer for the esoteric Ordre de la Rose-Croix Catholique du Temple et du Graal, founded in Paris by the flamboyant mystic 'Sar' Joséphin Péladan. The first Salon de la Rose-Croix was held in March 1892, at which Satie's solemn Trois Sonneries de la Rose + Croix were performed for the very first time. Satie also composed music for Péladan's play Le Fils des Étoiles (Son of the Stars), as well as two preludes for a chivalric play, Le Nazaréen. Satie subsequently broke from the Order in August 1892.
Later works by Satie in the same vein include his remarkable 'Christian ballet' Uspud (1892), described as 'sacred' music but in fact intended to shock and ridicule the Parisian musical establishment, and also the Pages Mystiques of 1893. The latter include his celebrated piece Vexations, the score for which is just three lines long, yet a complete performance (840 repetitions) may last for anything between 14 and 28 hours.
Satie's so-called 'Rosicrucian adventure' produced some of the composer's most enigmatic and extraordinary works, performed here by pianists Bojan Gorisek and Richard Cameron-Wolfe. 94 minutes of music. CD booklet includes detailed liner notes by James Hayward.
1. Sonnerie de la Rose + Croix: Air de l'Ordre
2. Sonnerie de la Rose + Croix: Air du Grande Maitre
3. Sonnerie de la Rose + Croix: Air du Grand Prieur
4. Premiere pensée Rose + Croix
5. 1er Prelude du Nazaréen
6. 2em Prelude du Nazaréen
7. Prelude de la Porte Heroique du Ciel
9. Vexations (detail)
10. Harmonie 1
11. Harmonie 2
12. Harmonie 3
1. Le Fils des Étoiles - Act 1: La vocation
2. Le Fils des Étoiles - Act 2: L'initiation
3. Le Fils des Étoiles - Act 3: L'incantation
4. Uspud (Act 1)
5. Uspud (Act 2)
6. Uspud (Act 3)
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"Archetypal examples of Satie's games with tonality - chord sequences that create the illusion of reaching goals, and melodies that nag provocatively at the conventional relationship between melody and accompaniment" (The Wire, 12/2006)
"Satie is one of those composers who contemporary pianists tumble over one another to drop into their influences box, and with due cause. The Frenchman in his career wrote some of the most beautiful solo piano music ever to grace our ears, and this double CD package features some of the most haunting melodic flourishes in Satie's rich repertoire. All the works included find Satie at his best, writing deeply emotional and spiritual piano music, deceptive in its simplicity and sparse structure. If you have enjoyed records by Sylvain Chaveau or Goldmund recently then you should really find out where the seeds were sown in the first place" (Boomkat, 10/2006)
"Some of the most beautiful piano music Satie ever wrote" (Plan B, 02/2007)