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James Harrington
American Record Guide, May 2019

I enjoyed all the little pieces (18 of the tracks are under two minutes), some grouped in a larger whole and others standing alone. The other big work here is Le Fils des Etoiles, 4 pieces in 18 minutes. The dances from La Belle Excentrique are in a wonderful music-hall style, and the piano version of the song ‘Tendrement’ is almost the accompaniment (which doubles the voice all through) and will remind you of the more famous ‘Je te veux’.

Hao (b.1990) plays all with the panache of someone steeped in this French style for many more than his 29 years. He did study in Paris as a young boy and currently resides in New York, studying at Juilliard and Columbia. There is an ease and graciousness in his playing that are perfect for Satie’s quirky music. He also has arranged a balanced, interesting program. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2018

Seated at his piano in a filthy room, the solitary person who had not had a single visitor for twenty-seven years, Erik Satie composed hundreds of keyboard pieces. This new disc contains just a smattering of those works, most of them quite short, the first track, Allegro, just nine bars long and few of the 30 tracks get much past two minutes. Satie was then to give them such lengthy names that people could not remember them. Most of the works on the disc would have been well within the scope of amateur pianists and could have been sold as sheet music. They are sometimes funny, sometimes pointing the way forward in musical thinking—even to the Minimalist era—but always easy to listen to. For the performer they have the disadvantage of each piece being too short to show their technical skills or to create an atmosphere. So it is a difficult disc debut for the young Chinese-born, Duanduan Hao. Now living in New York, and still a student at the Juilliard School of Music, he certainly has the right mood for Satie, never rushing phrases, and always shapes the scores perfectly in such a short time frame. © 2018 David’s Review Corner





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