Pascal 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. (by wikipedia)
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, 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)
If you do not like instrumental, piano, slow, acoustic, older-than-you, or non-beat driven music then you may not like this disc; but then you might (but probably not). Hidden in Satie’s “classical” music are hints of jazz, new age, and ambient. I am prejudiced toward ambient jazz and Satie may have been the first to give us a glimpse of its future almost a century before. This recording is consistently smoothe, well engineered, and flawlessly performed. Each note is given its own space and invites you to savor each individual tone. Some of the pieces have melody lines; others seem to be random, sometimes progressive, series of notes/tones (sonorous, in any event). On the easy listening scale between ponderable/contemplative and zoned-out/trance-inducing at the extremes this disc falls in the middle of the spectrum and roams freely over the relaxation and meditation spheres. I placed this disc within my top ten favorite listens, right up there with with Pachelbel’s Canon (Kolbialka’s extended version), Twin Peaks, Scheherezade, Leonard Cohen (More Best of), Chet Atkins (Master and his Music), Nightingale’s Light Dance, Windham Hill’s Impressionists sampler, Oystein Sevag’s Visual, and another take on Satie’s Gymnopedies (Kolbialka’s extended version). (byLarry Deemer)
Eric Satie’s [1866-1926] music is all over the map regarding quality and appeal – from gregarious, borderline-annoying, player-piano-like music to his more famous, luminescent, nocturnal slow masterpieces featured on this CD (without the former). Personally, I have little ear for the burlesque-inspired music on other Satie collections, so this compilation has found a nice niche in my collection for frequent playing when quiet, meditative music is in order (yes, often to help get to sleep assisted by the soothing Gymnopedies).
The sound quality of this CD is very rich and vivid as is Pascal Roge’s playing, with beautiful, bell-like sustained notes from Roge’s Steinway. What I most appreciated is his well-conceived tempos of these pieces – which for some reason suffer from too-slow, dirge-like tempos in other recordinds that strip the music of much of its life and enriching effects (as I find in fellow Frenchman, Jean Yves Thibaudet’s Decca recording – fitting for a funeral – why so slow?!)
In contrast, Roge to me finds the sweet-spot tempo and infuses these works with a subtle vibrancy in his tempos and colorations that allow the pieces to maintain constant interest to the listener and effect their simple magic. The highest Satie collection recommendation. (by Alan Lekan)
Music for the quiet moments in life …
Pascal Rogé (piano)
01. Gymnopédie No. 1 3.08
02. Gymnopédie No. 2 2.30
03. Gymnopédie No. 3 2.31
04. Gnossienne No. 1 3.41
05. Gnossienne No. 2 2.30
06. Gnossienne No. 3 3.08
07. Gnossienne No. 4 3.29
08. Gnossienne No. 5 4.02
09. Gnossienne No. 6 1.51
10. Nocturne I 3.17
11. Nocturne II 2.04
12. Nocturne III 3.03
13. Nocturne IV 2.55
14. Nocturne V 1.54
15. Avant-Dernieres Pensées 3.42
15.1 I Idylle, À Debussy
15.2 II Aubade, À Paul Dukas
15.3 III Meditation, À Albert Roussel
16. Pieces Froides – Trois Airs À Fuir 8.58
17. Pieces Froides – Trois Danses De Travers 6.26
18. Deux Reveries Nocturnes 3.20
19. Prélude De La Porte Héroïque Du Ciel 4.30
Music composed by Eric Satie
Tracks 1-9, 13 recorded in 1984.
Tracks 10-12, 14-19 recorded in 1989