Erik Satie


Born: May 17, 1866; France   Died: Jul 1, 1925; France   Period: 20th Century
Erik Satie was an important French composer from the generation of Debussy. Best remembered for several groups of piano pieces, including Trois Gymnopédies (1888), Trois Sarabandes (1887) and Trois Gnossiennes (1890), he was championed by Jean Cocteau and helped create the famous group of French composers, Les Six, which was fashioned after his artistic ideal of simplicity in the extreme. Some have viewed certain of his stylistic traits as Read more components of Impressionism, but his harmonies and melodies have relatively little in common with the characteristics of that school. Much of his music has a subdued character, and its charm comes through in its directness and its lack of allegiance to any one aesthetic. Often his melodies are melancholy and hesitant, his moods exotic or humorous, and his compositions as a whole, or their several constituent episodes, short. He was a musical maverick who probably influenced Debussy and did influence Ravel, who freely acknowledged as much. After Satie's second period of study, he began turning more serious in his compositions, eventually producing his inspiring cantata, Socrate, considered by many his greatest work and clearly demonstrating a previously unexhibited agility. In his last decade he turned out several ballets, including Parade and Relâche, indicating his growing predilection for program and theater music. Satie was also a pianist of some ability.
As a child Erik Satie showed interest in music and began taking piano lessons from a local church organist, named Vinot. While he progressed during this period, he showed no unusual gifts. In 1879 he enrolled in the Paris Conservatory, where he studied under Descombe (piano) and Lavignac (solfeggio), but failed to meet minimum requirements and was expelled in 1882. Satie departed Paris on November 15, 1886, to join the infantry in Arras, but he found military life distasteful and intentionally courted illness to relieve himself of duty. That same year his first works were published: Elégie, Trois Mélodies, and Chanson.
The years following his military service formed a bohemian period in Satie's life, the most significant events of which would be the beginnings of his friendship with Debussy, his exposure to eastern music at the Paris World Exhibition, and his association with a number of philosophical and religious organizations (most notably the Rosicrucian Brotherhood).
In 1905 he decided to resume musical study, enrolling in the conservative and controversial Schola Cantorum, run by Vincent d'Indy. His music took on a more academic and rigorous quality, and also began to exhibit the dry wit that would become hallmarks of his style. Many of his compositions received odd titles, especially after 1910, such as Dried up embryos and Three real flabby preludes (for a dog). Some of his works also featured odd instructions for the performer, not intended to be taken seriously, as in his 1893 piano work, Vexations, which carries the admonition in the score, "To play this motif 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities."
In 1925 Satie developed pleurisy and his fragile health worsened. He was taken to St. Joseph Hospital, where he lived on for several months. He received the last rites of the Catholic Church in his final days, and died on July 1, 1925. Read less

Work: Gymnopédie no 3

Browse 1-25 of 91 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Relaxation: Soothing Sounds of Classical Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578341 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Edvard Grieg,  Erik Satie,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Nora Shulman,  Judy Loman,  Takako Nishizaki,  Wolf Harden  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Breiner,  Jérôme Kaltenbach,  Alfred Walter,  Jorma Panula  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Nancy Lyric Symphony Orchestra,  Budapest Strauss Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    The Sound of Simon Rattle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556096 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Gustav Holst,  Claude Debussy,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Kate Royal,  Magdalena Kozená
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 3.
    Satie: Complete Piano Music / Veen
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95350 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Jeroen van Veen,  Sandra van Veen
    CD: $48.99
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  • 4.
    John Williams: The Complete Columbia Album Collection [58 CD + 1 DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 309294 Release Date: 03/04/2016   Number of Discs: 59
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Isaac Albeniz,  Francisco Tarrega,  Joaquin Turina  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Julian Bream,  Carlos Bonell,  Brian Gascoigne  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves,  Daniel Barenboim,  John Williams,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta,  String Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Echo: Works by J.S. Bach, Erik Satie, and David Del Tredici
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 377 Release Date: 12/08/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Erik Satie,  David Del Tredici
    Performer:  Svetozar Ivanov
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 6.
    Tout Satie!: Erik Satie Complete Edition
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 553008 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Anne Queffélec,  Gabriel Tacchino,  Aldo Ciccolini,  Jean-Pierre Armengaud  ... 
    Conductor:  Marius Constant,  Michel Plasson,  Pierre Dervaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Ars Nova (Sweden)
    CD: $35.49
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  • 7.
    Erik Satie By Michel Legrand
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 552135 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Michel Legrand
    CD: $12.99
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  • 8.
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908710 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Francis Poulenc,  Maurice Ravel,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud,  Jean-Guihen Queyras,  Ronald Van Spaendonck,  Eric Le Sage  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrea Quinn
    CD: $48.99
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  • 9.
    Weihnachten Zu Hause / Martin Petzold, Martin Hoepfner
    Label: Rondeau Productions   Catalog: 6084 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Friedrich Mergner,  Martin Luther,  Johannes Cruger,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Petzold,  Martin Hoepfner,  Alice Ungerer,  Jakob Grabenhorst
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Paris / Alison Balsom
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 632789 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Astor Piazzolla,  Michel Legrand,  Olivier Messiaen  ... 
    Performer:  Alison Balsom,  Milos Karadaglic,  Al Cherry,  Grant Windsor
    Conductor:  Guy Barker,  Tim Redmond
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guy Barker Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Aria: Music for Saxophone & Organ
    Label: Lawo Classics   Catalog: 1046 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Geirr Tveitt,  Ennio Morricone,  Oskar Lindberg,  David Bratlie  ... 
    Performer:  Anders Eidsten Dahl,  Vegard Landaas
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Autograph / Alexandre Tharaud
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 34137 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gabriel Fauré,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud
    CD: $17.99
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  • 13.
    Adagio - A Consideration Of A Serious Matter / Ensemble Caprice
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29848 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Dismas Zelenka,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Samuel Barber,  Matthias Maute  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthias Maute
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Caprice
    CD: $18.49
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  • 14.
    Erik Satie: Choix D'ouvres Pour Piano
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250299 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Christoph Deluze
    Conductor:  Manuel Rosenthal
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 15.
    Satie: Various Short Pieces
    Label: United Classics   Catalog: 2012140 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Jan Kaspersen
    Performer:  Jan Kaspersen
    CD: $12.99
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  • 16.
    Helmut Duffe, Emanuel Vogt: Windsbacher Psalmen
    Label: Rondeau Productions   Catalog: 2002 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emanuel Vogt,  Franz Kenefzky,  Erik Satie,  Klaus Brenninger  ... 
    Performer:  Bastian Hupfer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Klang-Dimension
    CD: $18.99
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  • 17.
    Satie & Compagnie / Anne Queffelec
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 189 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Déodat de Sévérac,  Francis Poulenc,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Queffélec
    CD: $22.99
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  • 18.
    The Mood Of Fifty Shades Of Grey
    Label: Quicksilver   Catalog: 6016 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Edvard Grieg,  Claude Debussy,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Conductor:  Sheldon Cohen
    CD: $14.99
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  • 19.
    Meditation: The Most Beautiful Classical Melodies
    Label: Marquis   Catalog: 81441 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Erik Satie,  Frédéric Chopin,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Susan Hoeppner,  Erica Goodman,  Robert Aitken,  Akira Eguchi  ... 
    Conductor:  Chosei Komatsu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Upper Valley Duo,  Duo Concertante
    CD: $9.99
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  • 20.
    Aquarelles / Valerie Milot
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29986 Release Date: 10/02/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Claude Debussy,  Bedrich Smetana,  Marcel Tournier  ... 
    Performer:  Valerie Milot
    CD: $18.49
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  • 21.
    Solo Harp: The Best Of Yolanda Kondonassis
    Label: Azica   Catalog: 71273 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Pierné,  Carlos Salzedo,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Yolanda Kondonassis
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Time Traveller - La Belle Epoque
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 79014 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Emil Waldteufel,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Kate Royal,  Elly Ameling,  Dalton Baldwin,  Beniamino Gigli  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Willi Boskovsky,  Manuel Rosenthal,  Edward Gardner  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    Still Sound / Bruce Levingston
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92148 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Bolcom,  Arvo Pärt,  Erik Satie,  Augusta Gross  ... 
    Performer:  Bruce Levingston
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    When Night Came ...
    Label: Timegrabber Digital   Catalog: 5637849455 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Conrad Beck,  Bernhard Heiden,  Karen Thomas,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Marie Wytko,  Cameron Hofmann,  Walter Cosand
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    John Williams - The Guitarist
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88082 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Isaac Albeniz,  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Silvius Leopold Weiss  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Julian Bream
    Conductor:  William Goodchild,  János Rolla,  Richard Tognetti,  Louis Frémaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra,  Australian Chamber Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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