Satie for Two – Peter Kraus & Mark Bird, guitars – Marquis Classics

by | Apr 18, 2008 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

Satie for Two – Peter Kraus & Mark Bird, guitars – Marquis Classics 83124, 49:43 *****:

Guitarist Kraus was set off on his project of transcribing piano works of Satie by first hearing a recording of the piano music by a French pianist.  Debussy  had transcribed two of Satie’s Gymnopédies for orchestra, but Satie for guitar was a new thing. Kraus found that some of the seemingly simple music of Satie was actually too complex for transferring to a single guitar, and thus the transcriptions for two guitars came about.

The piano pieces work beautifully in the two-guitar versions.  They share in my mind a connection with the two-guitar versions of Scarlatti harpsichord sonatas, which work equally well in their transfers.

This is one of the fine recordings made in the 1970s by the pioneering Canadian classical label, Orion Master Recordings.  I still have my Orion cassette of Satie for Two, which has had much playing over the years. Marquis is making these Orion recordings available once again.

Trois airs a faire fuir, Trois nouvelles pieces froides, Trois Gnossiennes (I – III), Sarabandes I & II, Trois Gymnopedies, Trois Gnossiennes (IV-VI), Troisieme Sarabande, Deux reveries nocturnes, Deux Ogives, Songe-creux.

 – John Sunier

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