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November 29, 2004

Le Magique Nombre

Tonight saw me open the lid of the piano for the first time in ages. This signifies *purpose*. The piano is now no longer a place for ironed laundry to build up. (The downside to a grand that isn't mentioned in the Steinway catalogue).

As I needed to play something pretty sedate, given that Daisy was in bed asleep, and as I was utterly knackered, I picked up my old Dover book of pieces by Erik Satie and tinkled through old favourite Gymnopedie #1 - star of stage screen and advert for many a year. (Only temporarily eclipsed by Gnossienne #1 when 'Chocolat' came out).

But for the first time I carried on playing at the end of the piece.

Gymnopedie (as in 'based in a Gymnasium'. Think nude oiled spartan men posing with a discus) number 2 suprised me because I realised after about 8 bars that I was sight-reading it. Badly, but I wasn't having to stop and count leger lines, and I was managing to maintain something of a pace through it.

But the real suprise was Gymnopedie #3. I realised that I'd Never Actually Heard It Before. All those years of hanging around in the music block at school, all those evenings where flute and piano arrangements were run through by my dad and a family friend...nobody had made it as far as number 3.

And to my mind, it's the best of the bunch.

Admittedly it helps if you're not hearing it as a midi file, and it's by far better when the previous two have set the perfect groundwork for it, but I'm really pleased to have discovered it at last.

Posted by Tom Dolan at November 29, 2004 10:43 PM

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I'm jealous now. I used to play Satie on the piano. Back when I last had a piano - about twelve years ago. *Sigh*

Posted by: Vaughan at November 30, 2004 10:04 AM

If you've got iTunes, and access to their music store, I recommend having a listen to the snippet of Pascal Rogé's performance.

Just beautiful.

Posted by: Tom Dolan at November 30, 2004 10:56 AM

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