Various Artists

Satie for Relaxation

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The playfully mischievous and the lyrically lush swirl together in the unfussy musical language of Erik Satie. The notion of his music as relaxing background music would have no doubt appealed to Satie, who conceived of "furniture music" which could be "part of the surrounding noises...melodious, softening the clatter of knives and forks, without imposing itself." This present recording serves up a most satisfying meal of Satie's musical dishes, the main course being the charming and restrained performances of Peter Dickinson on piano. Dessert is undoubtedly the transcriptions of numbers 1 and 2 of the Gymnopédies. The transcription of the first, arranged for clarinet and harp, enjoys the beautiful tone and impeccable musicianship of clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. The combination of recorder and guitar in the transcription of the second of the Gymnopédies transforms the piece: Michala Petri modulates the sound of the recorder in such a way as to make it sound almost like an accordion at a Parisian cafe.

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