Tamara-Anna Cislowska brings you new music by Elena Kats-Chernin, in their soulful new collaboration for ABC Classics and available worldwide (outside Australia/NZ) on Deutsche Grammophon:
Unsent Love Letters
After the death of Erik Satie, dozens of unsent love letters were found in his Paris apartment. Now composer Elena Kats-Chernin and pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska send those letters off, in 26 meditative and passionate piano miniatures inspired by Satie’s extraordinary life and music.
The album is a musical memoir from one composer to another, from the Uzbekistan-born Australian to the French composer whose eccentricities are legendary and music, timeless. “Satie’s life was a fascinating, fervoursome affair,” says pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska, “from the first strike of love and then lifelong estrangement with artist and muse Suzanne Valadon, to the unexpected celebrity and conflict of his last ten years. After he died, friends gaining access to his apartment, for the first time in almost three decades, found conditions both perplexing and romantically fastidious in their own way: two grand pianos one atop the other, one chair, one table, seven velvet suits and the love letters – many, many unsent love letters.”
The album reflects on idiosyncrasies and anecdotes from Satie’s life, with music that ranges from seductive orientalism to hypnotic melodies reminiscent of the ground-breaking, transcendent beauty of Satie’s own piano pieces: ‘imaginary building’ reflects on his sketches of imaginary buildings (which he even advertised in the newspaper for rent and purchase); ‘very shiny’, one of his characteristically opaque performance directions; ‘postcard to a critic’, after Satie’s explosive response to a negative review but here imagined as a smile through gritted teeth…
The spellbinding rhythms and rhapsodic harmonic style that have brought Kats-Chernin a reputation as one of the best-loved composers of her generation provide the perfect lens through which to reflect on a musical great of the previous century.
This world-premiere recording was made in the presence of the composer, with Kats-Chernin’s own choice of pianist, the ARIA-Award-winning Tamara-Anna Cislowska, who has been described as “Australian piano gold” by BBC Music Magazine and praised for her “profoundly affecting” musicianship by Gramophone.
An album to fall in love with.
Full media release: Unsent Love Letters
REVIEW: “I raved about Kats-Chernin and Cislowska’s fine artistic partnership back in May 2016, following the release of their album Butterflying. Their latest project… is equally outstanding. Each piece reflects some element of Satie: a line from a letter to his lover Suzanne Valadon, a segment of a composition, or an anecdote pertaining to his eccentricity… Cislowska brings the Kats-Chernin/Satie amalgam to life with the same brilliance… Unsent Love Letters is a triumph for Kats-Chernin and Cislowska, and a great tribute to the tender and exquisite music of Satie.”- Readings Monthly (‘Classical Album of the Month’, March 2017)
REVIEW: “If Elena Kats-Chernin had married Erik Alfred Leslie Satie, their musical children would have sounded like the 26 little piano pieces on this beguiling album… Deceptively simple and unadorned, they trickle off the nimble fingers of Tamara-Anna Cislowska… This is the kind of music that could exist at various levels … all the way to late-night cabaret acts in Spiegeltents, best accompanied by exotic libations… it is hard to argue with its sincerity, wit and charm.” (The Australian, April 2017)
Listen/watch ‘Unsent Love Letters’ performed by Tamara (click here) and ‘Absinthe Cocktail’ (on Youtube here)
More: Unsent Love Letters reaching no.1 on the ARIA classical charts, ARIA Crossover/Classical charts, iTunes classical and Limelight charts (two months in a row). ‘CD of the Week’ on ABC Classic FM and MBS networks, Unsent Love Letters available now on iTunes or at the ABC Shop online.