Review Satie/Cage: Cabaret per Nulla

Satie – Cage
Cabaret per Nulla

Sabina Meyer, voice
Marco Dalpane, piano/prepared piano

Ants Records AG-13

Pairing Erik Satie with John Cage is a good fit. In his collection of writings, Silence, John Cage tells us: “It’s not a question of Satie’s relevance. He’s indispensable.” (Silence p.82).

I’ve been playing Satie/Cage piano programmes since the early 80s and I’m far from being the only one. John Cage’s early piano music is easy to describe as Satiesque.

But this CD takes a step further and plays a very pleasing game. To stage a Cabaret for Nothing suggests DADA but there’s more to the album (a programme perhaps) than that. Sabina Meyer’s style is very enjoyable and varies widely from a light delivery in some of the Satie songs which reminds me of Hugues Cuenod’s recording of Socrate with Geoffrey Parsons (Nimbus NI 5027), to a unique, dramatic performance of Cage’s Aria. The liner notes tell us Marco Dalpane “plays [Cage] the way Cage thought Satie ought to be played.” Somehow, listening to the recordings, I know what that means! Definitely a Satiesque Cage.

Meyer and Dalpane really ‘get’ Satie. It takes a very particular sense of humour to get the seriousness of Satie’s humour, and I feel I’m hearing that on this CD.

I love this CD and it’s now in my top 7 Cage and Satie recordings. I’ll be returning to it many times. In addition to this, my top 7 also includes:

Erik Satie, Le Fils des Etoiles, Christopher Hobbs. London HALL docu 1
Erik Satie arr. John Cage, Socrate (version for two pianos), Dezső Ránkí and Edít Klukon. BMC 100.
John Cage, Sonatas and Interludes, John Tilbury. Explore Records (Re-release of 1975 recording) EXP0004
Erik Satie, Socrate, Hugues Cuenod and Geoffrey Parsons. Nimbus NI 5027
John Cage, 3 Compositions by John Cage, Teodoro Anzellotti (accordian). Winter & Winter No 910 080-2
Erik Satie, Works by Erik Satie, Teodoro Anzellotti (accordian). Winter & Winter No 910 031-2

Cabaret per Nulla is available from the Ants Records website:

Here is an excerpt on SoundCloud of John Cage’s The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs:

Review Satie/Cage: Cabaret per Nulla

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