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 76-91 of 91 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Klezmer Nutcracker
    Label: Newport Classic   Catalog: 85640 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  George Enescu,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  David Harris,  Michael McLaughlin,  Glenn Dickson,  Pete Fitzpatrick  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shirim
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  • 77.
    Ravel: La Valse, Etc;  Debussy, Satie / Ormandy, Szell, Etc
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 63056 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Alice Chalifoux,  Robert Marcellus,  Maurice Sharp
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Louis Lane,  George Szell,  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 78.
    The Art Of The Toy Piano / Margaret Leng Tan
    Label: Point Music   Catalog: 456345 Release Date: 05/13/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Raphael Mostel,  Toby Twining,  Guy Klucevsek  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Leng Tan
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 79.
    Pavane - Ravel, Satie & Fauré / Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 449186 Release Date: 04/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Erik Satie,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Susan Palma
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
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  • 80.
    Gymnopédies - Satie, Fauré, Et Al / Ciacci, I Cameristi
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47271 Release Date: 11/19/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edouard Lalo,  Vincent D'Indy,  Ernest Chausson,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Gemma Bertagnolli,  Mario Finotti,  Roberto Zanetti,  Patrizia Bettotti
    Conductor:  Diego Dini-Ciacci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Cameristi di Trento e Verona
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  • 81.
    Diamond Settings - Hommage Ŕ Satie / Gerard Schwarz, Seattle
    Label: Koch Schwann   Catalog: 373582 Release Date: 03/19/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  David Diamond,  Erik Satie
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 82.
    After The Rain...the Soft Sounds Of Erik Satie / Pascal Rogé
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444958 Release Date: 03/12/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé
    CD: $17.99
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  • 83.
    Für Elise - Best Of Romantic Piano Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550647 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Robert Schumann,  Erik Satie,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Balázs Szokolay,  Jénö Jandó,  Klára Körmendi,  Idil Biret  ... 
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  • 84.
    Malmö Symphony Orchestra / James Depreist
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 570 Release Date: 10/12/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hilding Rosenberg,  Erik Satie,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Hugo Alfvén  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Kontra
    Conductor:  James DePreist
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malmö Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 85.
    Romantic French Music For Guitar And Orchestra / Garcia
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550480 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Gerald Garcia
    Conductor:  Peter Breiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice State Philharmonic
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  • 86.
    Parents - The Lullaby Album
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64897 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Tzimon Barto,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Christopher Parkening,  Nancy Allen  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Roger Wagner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 87.
    Woody Allen Classics
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53549 Release Date: 08/24/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Giacomo Puccini,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Kenneth Cooper,  Renata Scotto,  Igor Kipnis
    Conductor:  Philippe Entremont,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  George Szell,  Sir Andrew Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 88.
    Classics For All Seasons - Summer
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80324 Release Date: 05/25/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Ernesto Lecuona  ... 
    Performer:  Yolanda Kondonassis,  Henryk Tritt
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Leonard Slatkin,  Erich Kunzel,  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 89.
    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
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  • 90.
    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
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  • 91.
    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
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