Thirty-two years since pianist Branka Parlic's debut recording of the music of French composer Erik Satie, Inities 1988 (M Production, 1988), she offers another take on his work. Parlic, who is a lecturer at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia, is also a professional pianist whose repertoire consists predominantly of works by modern-day composers such as Philip Glass, Arvo Part, Wim Mertens and Michael Nyman. But it's Satie who has been most consistently present in her repertoire. Famously, at the time, she even worked with the late electronic producer Rex Illusivi i.e. Mitar Subotic Suba on his debut album Disillusioned (M Studio, 1987) when she performed Satie's work "Gnossienne" on the track "Thanx Mr. Rorschach -Ambijenti Na Muziku Erika Satija." Inspired by a Rorschach psychological test, Suba treated this composition with various ambiances and effects.
Parlic here offers a fascinating and beautifully thought-through album featuring performances that are impressively textured throughout and rich in personality. She is first and foremost a deeply expressive player, whose Satie speaks with tremendous stylistic assurance. If you blend an imaginative but learned interpretation, pianistic finesse, musical intelligence with profound sensitivity you have one of the fines accounts of Satie's works on record, one that stands head and shoulders above most contenders in a continuously growing catalog of his works. Parlic arrives at this reading that, while fundamentally serious it also allows ample space for playful spontaneity. The result is a performance of considerable virtuosity and imagination, free of fussy mannerism. The repertoire consists of the following compositions: Gnossienne 1-7, Gymnopedie 1-3, Les Trois valses distinguees du Precieux Degoute -Son Binocle, Avant -Derniere Pensees: Idylle, Aubade, Meditation, Ogive No. 1 and No. 4, and Pieces Froides: Air a faire fuir No. 2 and Danses de travers No. 2.
Overall, Parlic's performances find an ideal balance between stylistic integrity and interpretative individuality. Recorded completely on analogue equipment without any additional studio effects or post-processing, the producers have managed to capture her wonderfully vivid sound and ambiance that envelops the playing and certainly enhances the music. Enhanced by that glorious recorded sound, Parlic's playing has a real sense of communication, portraying these works with conviction and enthusiasm supported by a splendidly robust and fluent technique. These performances are memorable for her flexible phrasing and organic transitions from one composition to the next. This is an album of thoughtful, elegant and compelling playing by Branka Parlic.
Gnossienne No. 1; Gnossienne No. 2; A3 Gnossienne No. 3;
Gnossienne No. 4; Gnossienne No. 5; Gnossienne No. 6;
Gnossienne No. 7; Gymnopediés No. 1; Gymnopediés No. 2;
Gymnopediés No. 3; Les Trois Valses Distinguées Du Précieux Dégoûté
Son Binocle; Avant–Dernières Pensées;
Idylle; Aubade; Méditation; Ogive No. 1; Ogive No. 4;
Pièces Froides; Airs À Faire Fuir No. 2; Danse De Travers No. 2.