It's simple: in his various realizations of the piano music of Erik Satie, Aldo Ciccolini set a standard that has yet to be bettered. This compilation, drawn from recordings made between 1966 and 1971, is consequently the best of the best. Ciccolini always played Satie's music as though it had been written by Claude Debussy, not by some cheap charlatan or uneducated primitive (which, to an extent that is still debatable, Satie was). The result is that these seemingly simple piano pieces acquire a tonal allure that is as surprising as it is undeniable. They possess an understated sophistication that points directly toward Ravel and Poulenc, at the same time providing an opening to the minimalist aesthetic of the later 20th century. Ciccolini's playing is pliant and graceful, and under his fingers the music seems to breathe and come alive. What more could a composer or a listener want? --Ted Libbey
NR (Not Rated)
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