Maurice de Abravanel

Homage to Satie

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AllMusic Review by

Even though these Vanguard recordings of Erik Satie's orchestral works date back to 1968 and are at least ADD, if not AAD, listeners may be reassured in knowing that the original analog tapes have been extraordinarily well preserved, and that the enthusiastic performances by Maurice de Abravanel and the Utah Symphony Orchestra sound quite fresh and vivid, even by today's standards. Part of this double-disc's terrific sound quality is due to the responsive acoustics of the Mormon Tabernacle, but credit is due equally to the full-out playing of the USO in music it found especially delightful, and to the engineers who took pains in positioning the microphones to capture every part with natural effect. Satie's three ballets, Parade, Les aventures de Mercure, and Relâche appear complete, along with shorter, lesser-known works, such as La belle excentrique, the Cinq grimaces pour "Un songe d'une nuit d'été," and, for the first time on disc, En habit de cheval. The arrangements on disc two by Debussy, Desormiere, Poulenc, Manuel, and Milhaud may be of less interest than Satie's authentic scores, yet the pieces Le fils des étoiles and Jack-in-the-Box are rarely heard in any form, and are entertaining bonuses for Satie fans.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Parade, ballet in 1 scene for orchestra
1 02:30
2 01:58
3 02:13
4 01:57
5 02:41
6 02:58
Mercure, ballet in 3 scenes
7 00:59
8 00:33
9 01:42
10 00:39
11 01:00
12 01:09
13 01:02
14 00:41
15 01:24
16 01:45
La belle excentrique, "serious fantasy" for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands)
17 01:43
Grimaces (5) for "A Midsummer Night's Dream," incidental music
18 00:56
19 00:39
20 00:36
21 00:23
22 01:03
Relâche (No Performance Today), ballet for orchestra (also piano version)
23 01:03
24 00:36
25 00:13
26 01:01
27 00:40
28 00:40
29 00:56
30 00:37
31 00:39
32 01:11
33 01:13
34 00:53
35 00:55
36 01:11
37 00:32
38 01:03
39 00:59
40 01:28
41 00:52
42 00:46
43 00:49
44 00:40

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 05:43
2 02:24
3 03:19
Morceaux (3) en forme de poire (3 pieces in the form of a pear), for piano, 4 hands or orchestra
4 02:48
5 00:51
6 01:13
7 00:37
8 01:22
9 00:39
10 02:25
11 01:38
12 01:37
13 03:30
Le Nazaréen, incidental music (2 preludes) for piano
14 03:55
Gnossiennes (6), for piano
15 02:05
Le fils des étoiles, Chaldean pastoral, 3 preludes for piano
16 03:30
17 04:19
Jack-in-the-Box, pantomime ballet for piano (orchestrated by Milhaud)
18 02:08
19 01:49
20 01:42
blue highlight denotes track pick