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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
Satie: Piano Works / Klara Kormendi
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8505237   Number of Discs: 5
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Satie: Parade, Trois Gymnopédies, Etc / Kaltenbach, Et Al
Release Date: 08/31/1999   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554279   Number of Discs: 1
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Satie: Avant-Derničres Pensées - Solos & Duos / Alexandre Tharaud
Release Date: 02/10/2009   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902017   Number of Discs: 2
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Satie: Piano Works Vol 2 / Klára Körmendi
Release Date: 06/28/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550697   Number of Discs: 1
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Satie: Piano Works Vol 3 / Klara Körmendi
Release Date: 01/01/1995   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550698   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Jack-in-the-Box

Browse 1-13 of 13 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Satie: Piano Works / Klara Kormendi
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8505237 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Klára Körmendi,  Gábor Eckhardt
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  • 2.
    Essential Satie
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 78153 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini,  Anne Queffélec,  Jean-Pierre Armengaud,  Catherine Collard  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  John Lanchbery,  Pierre Dervaux,  Aldo Ciccolini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Erwartung
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  • 3.
    Satie: Complete Piano Works / Christine Ariagno
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94087 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Cristina Ariagno
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  • 4.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67063 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Holst,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Susan Bickley,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  André Previn,  Paavo Järvi,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Eternal Satie /  Kormendi, Eckhardt, Bodtker, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572132 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie
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  • 6.
    Panda Classics
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503204 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Victor Herbert,  Heitor Villa-Lobos  ... 
    Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky,  Jenö Jandó,  Francesco Nicolosi,  Idil Biret
    Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar,  István Bogár,  Jerker Johansson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Swedish Air Force Band
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  • 7.
    Paris Mechanique / Riessler, Charial, Sabine Meyer Trio
    Label: Marsyas   Catalog: 1801 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Francis Poulenc,  Scott Joplin,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Charial,  Michael Riessler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sabine Meyer Clarinet Trio
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Satie / Peter Fletcher
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2731 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Peter Fletcher
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    Historical - Satie: Orchestral Works / Abravanel, Utah So
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1612 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 10.
    Satie: Complete Solo Piano Works / Jean-yves Thibaudet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000023002 Release Date: 06/10/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    CD: $49.99
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  • 11.
    Satie: Piano Works / Michel Legrand
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 41380 Release Date: 05/20/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Michel Legrand
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  • 12.
    The Magic of Satie / Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470290 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
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  • 13.
    Satie: Piano Works Vol 4 / Klára Körmmendi, Gábor Eckhardt
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550699 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Gábor Eckhardt,  Klára Körmendi
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