Classical Music CDs, DVDs

Kats-chernin Unsent Love Letters On Satie

Tamara-anna Cislowsk
After the death of Erik Satie, dozens of unsent love letters were found in his Paris apartment. Now composer Elena Kats-Chernin and pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska send those letters off, in 26 meditative and passionate piano miniatures inspired by Satie’s extraordinary life and music

The album is a musical memoir from one composer to another, from the Uzbekistan-born Australian to the French composer whose eccentricities are legendary and music timeless. “Satie’s life was a fascinating, fervoursome affair,” says pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska, “from the first strike of love and then lifelong estrangement with artist and muse Suzanne Valadon, to the unexpected celebrity and conflict of his last ten years. After he died, friends gaining access to his apartment, for the first time in almost three decades, found conditions both perplexing and romantically fastidious in their own way: two grand pianos one atop the other, one chair, one table, seven velvet suits and the love letters – many, many unsent love letters.”

The album reflects on idiosyncrasies and anecdotes from Satie’s life, with music that ranges from seductive orientalism to hypnotic melodies reminiscent of the ground-breaking, transcendent beauty of Satie’s own piano pieces: ‘imaginary building’ reflects on his sketches of imaginary buildings (which he even advertised in the newspaper for rent and purchase); ‘very shiny’, one of his characteristically opaque performance directions; ‘postcard to a critic’, after Satie’s explosive response to a negative review (leading to a spell in gaol). The buoyant rhythms and rhapsodic harmonic style that have brought Kats-Chernin a reputation as one of the best-loved composers of her generation provide the perfect lens to reflect on a musical great of the previous century.

(Abc Classics) 4814967

Track Listing Extract:
1. love token
2. unsent love letters
3. behind your pearls
4. le chat noir
5. threads of grey velvet
6. sarabande
7. garden gothique
8. very shiny
9. absynthe cocktail
10. the gymnast
11. one table, one chair
12. eggshell
13. imaginary building
14. piano tower
15. phonometrician
16. modern romantic
17. maple in the evening
18. tuesday suit
19. wonder about yourself
20. patchouli
21. notebooks
22. postcard to a critic
23. dance in 7/4
24. biqui
25. darkness
26. for whom it tolls

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