Radio 4 Soul Music Series


I came across this very touching programme last week whilst travelling in the car between meetings. This episode was presented by Pascal Rogé, one of the world’s greatest interpreters of French piano music, who shared his personal reflections on Erik Satie’s life and Gymnopédies Number 1 in particular, a hauntingly beautiful (and instantly recognisable) piece of music. One particularly affecting anecdote was when a father thanked Pascal Roge for saving his son’s life. His son had been critically ill in hospital, with a racing heart beat. The hospital decided to play music to him to try to slow his heart rate down and the only piece that worked was Gymnopédies Number 1. A fascinating radio portrait of Satie emerges as a deeply religious, but free-thinking individual.