My favourite recording of Satie's Gymnopédie No.1 today curtesy of Alice Sara Ott.
I love this piece so much, it is so laid back and calming. It makes me think of a couple strolling along the Seine in Paris. I think Alice Sara creates a beautifully vivid scene which her gorgeous interpretation.
Satie completed Trois Gymnopédies (Three Gymnopédies) in early April 1888, however they were published individually. The first and third in 1888 and the second in 1895.
If you were to ask people to choose a piece of tranquil piano music, the chances are a fair few would select Satie's Gymnopédie No.1.
Being someone who is very interesting in this sort of thing, I pondered why this was, so did a bit of digging and analysis and the conclusion I've come it is that it is down to its elegant simplicity and because of this it relies heavily on the sympathies of the musician playing the piece. In short it requires and encourages emotions and expression - so my thinking is that is helps us to communicate how we feel when we play it and also allows us to feel those things when we listen to it.
The piece even looks quite abstract on the page, as there are few notes - there is not a single quaver in the entire piece.
Because of its simplicity, anyone can play it technically correctly but the crucial thing is how you play it. This is what makes the piece come alive.
This is why I love this recording so much, Ott's incredible virtuosic talents and sensitivity combine to create something really magical.
It will likely come as no surprise to you that this is an aspect of music that I find deeply fascinating - the human element, the connection with emotions and feeling and how this is infused into black dots on a page, turning sound into something magical and meaningful.