Satie: Piano Works

Reviewed on Thu 11 Aug, 2016

Olga Scheps possesses the delicacy of touch required for Satie and produces playing of remarkably even tone, which suits the Gnossiennes, Gymnopédies and shorter vocalises Je te veux and Tendrement.

Russian-German pianist Olga Scheps marks the 150th anniversary of Erik Satie’s birth with a programme that mixes perennial favourites like the Six Gnossiennes and Trois Gymnopédies alongside more rarely performed treats such as the Trois Sarabandes and Darius Milhaud’s keyboard arrangement of the Cinq Grimaces pour Le songe d’une nuit d’été. Scheps possesses the delicacy of touch required for Satie and produces playing of remarkably even tone. This suits the Gnossiennes, Gymnopédies and shorter vocalises Je te veux and Tendrement. Where more characterisation of wry humour is required in the Grimaces Scheps does match Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Decca). That said, the intimacy of Scheps’s recording sounds more appropriate than Thibaudet’s overtly projected offering. As her ‘encore’, Scheps offers Chilly Gonzales’s four-minute Gentle Threat, which aptly comments on the influence Satie still casts over young composers writing today. Good supporting booklet-notes.
–Evan Dickerson