'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Thursday, November 29, 2007

'Gymnopedie' by Erik Satie - Performed by Robin Hill

Erik Satie (1866-1925) was a French composer best remembered for composing deliberately modest music, however, he was a harmonic innovator, especially in his earlier pieces.
His work influenced many other composers, such as, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc and Cage.

Satie had a turbulent childhood, his mother died when he was young and he was sent to live with his grandmother, who, shortly after, also died.
He returned to Paris to be with his father, but his father soon remarried, the pianist and Romantic composer, Eugenie Barnetsche, whom Eric disliked.

In 1879 Satie entered the Paris Conservatoire, but he wasn't a good student. He was certainly gifted, but records report him as 'lazy' and 'often absent'. He left the conservatoire early, but did continue to study music through harmony, and then piano classes.
In 1887 Satie wrote three Sarabandes, which probably influenced the Sarabande of Debussy, 'Pour le piano', and, it was in the following year that he wrote the 'Gymnopedies'.

By the early 1890's Satie had joined the flamboyant 'Rose + Croix' artistic movement of which Satie was the official composer. It was during this time that Satie met, and became life long friends with, Debussy.
In 1895 two Gymnopedies were published, on the recommendation of Debussy, who also orchestrated a pair the following year.

Today you can hear Robin's arrangement of this calm and haunting, 'Gymnopedie No.1', which paradoxically is both simple yet highly spiritual and profound.

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