Pascal Rogé – After The Rain – The Soft Sound Of Eric Satie (1999)

FrontCover1Pascal Rogé (born 6 April 1951) is a French pianist.

His playing includes the works of compatriot composers Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, and Poulenc, among others. However, his repertoire also covers the German and Austrian masters Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven.

Rogé first appearance in public was in 1960 with a performance of Claude Debussy’s Préludes. He won the piano prize at the Paris Conservatory and worked for several years with Julius Katchen. At seventeen, he gave his first recitals in major European cities, landing an exclusive contract with Decca in the process. He has a particular affinity with French composers such as Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel and Francis Poulenc. He also performs chamber works, with the Pasquier Trio, and with musicians such as Pierre Amoyal or Michel Portal, with whom he recorded Poulenc and Tchaikovsky. He gives recitals worldwide, in all the major centres. A friend of conductor Charles Dutoit, he was regularly invited to Canada to work with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra while Dutoit was conductor there.

In 2011 he and his wife Ami premiered the Concerto for Two Pianos by the Australian composer Matthew Hindson, which was commissioned to celebrate their recent wedding. (wikipedia)

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Or much more detailed:

Pascal Rogé exemplifies the finest in French pianism. Born in Paris, he was a student of the Paris Conservatory and was also mentored by Julius Katchen and the great Nadia Boulanger. Winner of Georges Enesco piano competition and 1st prize of Marguerite Long Piano competition, he became an exclusive Decca recording artist at the age of seventeen. His playing of Poulenc, Satie, Fauré, Saint-Saëns and especially Ravel, is characterized by its elegance, beauty and stylistically perfect phrasing.

Mr. Rogé has performed in almost every major concert hall in the world and with every major orchestra across the globe and has collaborated with the most distinguished conductors in history, including Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, Edo de Waart, Alan Gilbert, David Zinman, Marek Janowski, Sir Andrew Davis, Raymond Leppard and others.

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One of the world’s most distinguished recording artists, Pascal Rogé has won many prestigious awards, including two Gramophone Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque and an Edison Award for his interpretations of the Ravel and Saint- Saens concerti along with the complete piano works of Ravel, Poulenc and Satie.

Several years ago, Mr. Rogé began a new and ambitious recording project for Onyx called the Rogé Edition. With the Vienna Radio Symphony under Bertrand de Billy, he has recently recorded two CDs of both of the Ravel Piano Concerti and the Gershwin Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue.

Recently chairman of the Geneva Piano competition, Pascal Rogé is also dedicated to teaching and gives regular masterclasses in France, Japan, United States and United Kingdom. (taken from his website)

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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,

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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. (by James Leonard)

In a market saturated with pleasant Gymnopédies that sound like the background music for an AT&T commercial, no amount of silly “soft sounds” packaging can discredit the sheer beauty of the music here. Rogé gives us Zen and Tao, light as a feather and fleeting as sea foam, bringing us out of one moment and into the next, no coming, no going, no after, no before. What more is there to write or speak? No more words; let the music speak and not-speak and bring you into the silence. (by Peter Ruark)

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Personnel:
Pascal Rogé (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Gymnopédie No. 1 / 3.12
02. Gymnopédie No. 2  / 2.33
03. Gymnopédie No. 3 / 2.36
04. Gnossienne No. 1 / 3.46
05. Gnossienne No. 2  / 2.35
06. Gnossienne No. 3 / 3.15
07. Gnossienne No. 4 / 3.35
08. Gnossienne No. 5 / 4.07
09. Gnossienne No. 6 / 1.58
10. Nocturne I  / 3.17
11. Nocturne II / 2.05
12. Nocturne III / 3.04
13. Nocturne IV / 2.58
14. Nocturne V / 1.57
15. Avant-Dernieres Pensées 3.45
15.1 Idylle, À Debussy
15.2 Aubade, À Paul Dukas
15.3 Meditation, À Albert Roussel
16. Pieces Froides – Trois Airs À Fuir 8.58
17. Pieces Froides – Trois Danses De Travers 6.28
18. Deux Reveries Nocturnes 3.24
19. Prélude De La Porte Héroïque Du Ciel 4.42

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Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (17 May 1866 – 1 July 1925), who signed his name Erik Satie after 1884, was a French composer and pianist. Satie was an influential artist in the late 19th- and Erik Satie01early 20th-century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd, while his 1917 coinage “furniture music” would presage the development of background and ambient music.

An eccentric, Satie was introduced as a “gymnopedist” in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous works, the piano compositions Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a “phonometrician” (meaning “someone who measures sounds”), preferring this designation to that of “musician”, after having been called “a clumsy but subtle technician” in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.

In addition to his body of music, Satie left a set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications from the dadaist 391 to the American culture chronicle Vanity Fair.[8] Although in later life he prided himself on publishing his work under his own name, in the late 19th century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings. (wikipedia)

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