Review: Gramphone Magazine

Artist: Suzor-Cote, Aurele de Foy (Canadian 1869 - 1937) Title: Stream in Winter Description: Oil on Canvas 60.6 X 73.3 cm Credit: Art Gallery of Ontario: Gift of Moffat Dunlap from the Estate of his mother, Mrs. R.A. Dunlap, 1947. Photo: Carlo Catenazzi, AGO


Eve Egoyan takes a diversion into lesser-known Satie with results to delight and ravish the ear

“Hidden Corners” aptly describes the contents of this beautifully recorded, impeccably executed, and astutely programmed Satie recital. While much of the music is not unfamiliar to Satie fans well-versed in Aldo Ciccolini’s path-breaking EMI traversals, those seeking ‘greatest hits’ like the Gymnopedies and the Gnossiennes won’t find them here. What we do find, though, is a pianist who not only understands and loves this music, but plays it with lots of character, style, taste, and pinpointed technical control.

Listen to Egoyan’s hypnotically steady unfolding of the slow-moving broken chords that dominate throughout the Pices froides, or the character and bite she brings to each movement of the Sports et divertissements. While Steffen Schleirermacher lays out the Quartre Ogives in a bleak, freeze-framed progression, Egoyan’s faster pace and more natural, melody-oriented phrasing really make these static portraits move. The dance-oriented pieces benefit from Egoyan’s strongly projected bass lines. She doesn’t voice Le Piccadilly’s right-hand melodies to Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s sophisticated effect, yet her solider left-hand rhythmic underpinning imparts a stronger march-like tread to the music.

Many pianists pull the Nocturnes about like taffy in the name of Chopin. Egoyan, by contrast, makes her salient points through a steady, fluid pulse and ravishing textural diversity. Notable too is the evocative San Bernardo, a tiny gem from 1913, recorded her for the first time. CBC should march Eve Egoyan back into the studio to record Satie’s remaining piano music. A wonderful disc in every way: highly recommended.

~ Jed Distler, Gramphone Magazine, February 2003