Jean-Yves’s Recordings of Erik Satie’s Complete Works for Solo Piano to be released by Decca

May 09 2016

Erik Satie was born 150 years ago, on May 17, 1866. To celebrate, Decca is releasing a box set of Satie’s complete works for solo piano, recorded by Jean-Yves Thibaudet. The five-disc set has a bonus album with four-handed piano music performed by Pascal Rogé and Jean-Philippe Collard and will be released on May 13, 2016.

Thibaudet set out to record all of Satie’s pieces for solo piano, which had long been a staple of his performance repertoire, in 2002. To listen to Thibaudet’s interview with NPR just as he embarked on this project, click here. Thibaudet also defended Satie to “The Telegraph”, saying, “People think he was just an eccentric and don’t take him seriously enough. Of course, he had a sense of humor to die for, but to me he is as great as Fauré or Debussy or Ravel.”

A fixture of the avant-garde landscape of Paris in the early 20th century, Satie influenced a range of composers from Igor Stravinsky, Philip Glass, and Claude Debussy. He took great care over every piece of writing, obsessing over even the shortest letter, and giving his publishers signed and dated manuscripts only in his elegant calligraphy. His signature was his official authorization for publication.

After his death, a considerable number of works were found in his apartment in Arcueil, most of them written out in the manuscript books he had always carried with him. Some of these fragments, exercises, and unauthorized pieces have been published over the years. The works recorded here by Thibaudet are only the original works, guaranteed by Satie’s signature.