- File Size: 62912 KB
- Print Length: 176 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications (December 31, 2012)
- Publication Date: December 3, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00A44YYLI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,561 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$16.95|
|Print List Price:||$18.95|
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Gymnopédies, Gnossiennes and Other Works for Piano (Dover Music for Piano) Kindle Edition
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The first thing I will say is that if you are only interested in the Gymnopédies and the Gnossiennes, this is probably not the best book for you (despite the misleading title). The Gymnopédies are all here but are printed in such an unnecessarily large format that each of the small pieces requires at least one page turn. The book is missing Gnossiennes 4-6 (regrettably this seems to be par for the course in the major publishers' collections of Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes), and the three Gnossiennes that are present are printed as Satie originally wrote them: without measure lines. This isn't so hard to get used to, but the more standard copies which include measure lines are certainly easier to read and play. More frustrating is the fact that while the Gnossiennes are in smaller print and only two pages per piece, Dover has made the baffling decision to arrange them so that each piece takes up the front and back of a single page and still requires a page turn.
The rest of the collection is a decent if eclectic representation of Satie's lesser known works. Any newcomers drawn in by the mysterious beauty of the Gnossiennes and Gymnopédies may be put off by the thoroughly bizarre nature of the rest of Satie's work. These range from fairly popular pieces such as the Poudre d'or and Je te veux waltzes to Satie's collections of shorter piano sketches. Many are printed without measure lines, and many include Satie's hugely amusing programmatic notes and instructions. An instruction to play "like a nightingale with a toothache" is just one of the many highlights of Satie's eccentricity; the performance notes give you the uncomfortable yet somewhat endearing sensation of having a senile old man watch over your shoulder as you play piano and occasionally mutter groups of nonsensical words that may or may not be addressed to you. It is also worth noting that the rest of the pieces are much harder to play than the Gnossiennes and Gymnopedies: dentally afflicted nightingales can be surprisingly complex. A little over a third of the book is dedicated to four hand piano pieces, which will be frustrating to all two-handed pianists without a willing partner.
At the reduced price of four dollars (the copy I received still has a 17-dollar price tag deceitfully stuck on top of the 15 dollar print price) Amazon and Dover seem to be trying to give this book away, and there really isn't a great reason not to let them do it. For about the price of a 6-inch Subway sandwich (no chips or drink), you can now add a fittingly bizarre collection of hard-to-find Satie piano pieces to your library. If the sub sounds better, you probably shouldn't buy this book. If you're only looking for the Gnossiennes and Gymnopédies I'd recommend shelling out a couple extra dollars for a smaller book dedicated to those pieces.
The other is that this collection is chock full of works for piano four hands. (I didn't know he wrote so many!) You might feel teased if you lack a co-conspirator.
Finally, there is the Nachlaß not included, e.g., the Gnossienes 4 - 6. Any collection of Schubert or Chopin includes a fair amount of posthumous material. Not so Satie?