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Michael Houstoun (piano)

[ Rattle Records / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 27 October 2017

Michael Houstoun's second release on Rattle in 2017, following the exceptional tour de force of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, is a selection of personal favourites from the repertoire of French piano music. Trois is an album of absolutely beautiful music, and features the work of Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, and Francis Poulenc.

85 minutes playing time

" What a pleasure it is to hear Michael Houstoun relaxing in this collection of French music, just months after the triumph of his Diabelli Variations.

The title of the new disc, Trois, is explained by producer Kenneth Young, taking on liner note duties; the three movements of Ravel's opening Sonatine inspired the pianist to create similar sets of pieces from works by four other French composers.

Erik Satie (1866-1925) scores six tracks. His well-known three Gymnopedies, played with unexpected but effective deliberation, are each paired with one of his gnarlier Gnossiennes. Spread throughout the album, they're like sweet and bitter sorbets between courses in a classy degustation.

Houstoun can't resist giving Gabriel Faure (1845-1924) a double inning. First up, three Nocturnes are launched with evanescent dreams in E flat minor; a later set of three, lightened with a dash of the salon, features a Barcarolle that's really a closet waltz." William Dart NZ Herald


Maurice Ravel
01 i. Modéré
02 ii. Mouvement de Menuet
03 iii. Animé

Erik Satie
04 Gymnopédie No. 1
05 Gnossienne No. 1

Claude Debussy
Images oubliées
06 i. Lent
07 ii. Sarabande
08 iii. Très vite

Erik Satie
09 Gymnopédie No. 2
10 Gnossienne No. 2

Gabriel Fauré
Nocturne Op.33
11 i. E-flat Minor
12 ii. B Major
13 iii. A-flat Major

Erik Satie
14 Gymnopédie No. 3
15 Gnossienne No. 3

Francis Poulenc
Trois novelettes
16 No. 1 in C Major, Modéré sans lenteur
17 No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Très rapide et rythme
18 No. 3 in E Minor, Andantino tranquillo

Gabriel Fauré
19 Impromptu No. 2 in F Minor/Major, Opus 31
20 Barcarolle No. 1 in A Minor, Opus 26
21 Valse-Caprice No. 1 in A Major, Opus 30