Anne Queffélec

Erik Satie

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Anne Queffélec brings plenty of style and sass to her 1988 disc of piano works by Erik Satie. With clear tone, brilliant technique, and a preference for clean textures, the Parisian pianist might not seem like everybody's first choice to play the sui generis composer's highly individualistic -- some might say highly eccentric -- piano music. Though Queffélec remains true to herself, she finds a way to accommodate to Satie. She does it mostly through deft phrasing and subtle use of rubato, keeping the lines and harmonies intact, but shaping them for maximum effectiveness. Some might miss the mist of overtones with which other pianists infuse Satie's music, preferring the evocative to the explicit, but Queffélec's lucidity doesn't strip the music of its strangeness, it highlights it. Listeners who enjoy her approach to Trois Gymnopédies, Satie's greatest hit, are likely to be delighted with the rest of the disc. Virgin Classic's digital sound is cool and a bit distant, but some might say that suits the music.