Pascal Rogé

After the Rain...The Soft Sounds of Erik Satie

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If you think the title After the Rain is silly, wait until you get to the subtitle: "The Soft Sounds of Erik Satie." Oh, well, never mind titles and subtitles: it is ultimately the music and performance that make or break the disc and, in this case, the music and performances are both superb. Satie was, of course, the utterly unclassifiable composer who wrote pieces that are easy and hard, cold and hot, ironic and sentimental, ancient and modern, sublime and mundane. Pascal Rogé is, of course, the French pianist with a virtuoso technique (which, in a French pianist, is rare), a beautiful tone (which, in a French pianist, is typical), and superb taste (which, in a French pianist, is inevitable). In this set of Gymnopedies, Gnossiennnes, Nocturnes, and other short and improbably named works, Rogé shows that tone and taste triumph over technique, that is, that Rogé plays with precisely voluptuous tone and objectively subjective taste, but wholly without drawing attention to himself. The result is one of the best Satie recordings ever made. Decca's '90s digital sound was as warm and cool as the music itself.

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