Recently I discovered a piece of classical piano music that I had been trying to find for almost 30 years — Gnossienne No. 1 by Erik Satie.

I first heard the piece when it was used for the soundtrack of James Burke’s excellent 1978 BBC documentary series, Connections, and I’ve been trying to track it down ever since. Although I’ve heard it on several occasions in the 29 years that have elapsed since the show aired, I wasn’t able to discover its identity until Lori Ann played it to me recently. I’d never even heard of Erik Satie until then.

Buying the CD on Amazon, however, proved more difficult than I’d anticipated. There were many different Erik Satie CD’s, all with slightly different combinations of essentially the same pieces, and all by different pianists. I spent a long time reading the reviews, which tended to consist of strong but widely-divergent views on which were the best interpretations.

In the end, I bought one of the more expensive CD’s with one of the cheesiest titles — After the Rain…The Soft Sounds of Erik Satie, performed by Pascal Roge — because the reviews seemed to suggest that it contained only Satie’s better, more atmospheric and melancholy works, that Roge’s performance was among the best, and that the recording was of a high quality.

Anyway, I like it very much, particularly the first part of the disc, and have played it quite often over the last couple of months. Check out the preview of Gnossienne No. 1:

And thanks to Lori Ann for ending my 29-year search!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *