If Erik Satie‘s music counts as a fixture in the classical repertoire today, we have Reinbert de Leeuw to thank for it. Along with several other pianists, he rediscovered Satie’s piano works in the 1970s and ’80s, and made some now-legendary recordings of them.
His extremely slow performances were cause for controversy then, and still are today. The recordings’ unlikely success with the public was even more inexplicable: they quickly became absolute blockbusters in the Netherlands, and even made their way to the top of the pop charts.
Since recently, De Leeuw has been performing these fascinating Satie miniatures again, not to break any box-office records, but to let audiences hear how improbably daring and against the grain they were for their time.
In particular the radical simplicity and extreme transparency of these late-19th-century (!) pieces have lost none of their bravado today. For all their timelessness, they were 20th-century pieces before their time!
In the context of the four day hommage to Reinbert de Leeuw in the occasion of his honorary doctorate of KU Leuven Faculty of Arts.
Erik Satie: Ogives, Le fils des Etoiles, Gnossiennes, Prélude de la porte héroique du ciel, 3 Sonneries de la Rose + Croix, 3 Gymnopédies
Reinbert de Leeuw, 19:45
Reinbert de Leeuw
Under conductor Reinbert de Leeuw extreme precision and spot-on tuning will be combined with an overwhelming intensity, regardless of whether it’s the intensity of the silence or of an all-consuming drive. This Janáček concert is a guaranteed total experience, and the pleasure the musicians take in playing will practically radiate from the stage.