Erik Satie

Biography

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 101-106 of 106 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Romances For Saxophone / Branford Marsalis
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42122 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michel Colombier,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Claude Debussy,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Branford Marsalis
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Tallis Chamber Choir
    CD: $8.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $8.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 102.
    Twentieth Century Classics / Marriner, Academy Of St Martin
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420155 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 103.
    Vaughan Williams, Barber, Grainger, Fauré / Slatkin, St Louis So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80059 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  John Korman,  Beverly Schiebler,  John Sant'Ambrogio,  Thomas Dumm
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $10.99
    In Stock
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  • 104.
    Dinner Classics - The French Album
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 45543 Release Date: 05/17/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Charles Gounod,  Jacques Offenbach,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  John De Lancie
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Eugene Ormandy,  William Smith,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 105.
    Humoresque - Favorite Violin Encores / Isaac Stern
    Label: Cbs Masterworks Digital Masters   Catalog: 45816 Release Date: 03/09/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Franz Schubert,  Antonín Dvorák,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Milton Katims,  Frank Brieff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

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