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satie erik

satie erik

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Published by singingman

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Published by: singingman on Oct 08, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/01/2013

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Satie, Erik

The French composer Erik Satie was born on May 17, 1866, and
died on
July 1, 1925, was the son of an English mother and a Parisian music
publisher.

He entered the Paris Conservatory in 1879 but failed to benefit
from
academic education, which he embarked on again only in his 40th year,
when he
enrolled as a pupil of Vincent d'Indy and Albert Roussel at the Schola
Cantorum.
Long before that, however, he had composed a number of short piano
pieces, whose
eccentric titles and unfashionable and yet convincing simplicity of
melody were
matched by an individual sense of harmony. It is still a moot point
whether
Satie got his harmonic ideas from his fellow student and friend Claude
Debussy,
or whether the debt was on Debussy's side. It is quite clear, however,
that
Satie's tasteful principles influenced Debussy in the composition of
his opera
Pelleas et Melisande and that Satie was the main influence in helping
Debussy to
free himself from the musical domination of Richard Wagner. Satie became
interested in plainsong through his association with a so-called
Rosicrucian
group, while he earned his living as a cafe pianist in Montmartre.

Satie was a conscious eccentric and a determined enemy of all
establishments, including the musical. The comical titles that he
attached to
his small piano pieces are characteristic of the Bohemian wit in the
Paris of
his day. Irony and a deceptively childlike attitude, a dislike for
pomposity of
all kinds, and an instinctive secretiveness were hallmarks of both the
man and
his music. In 1916, Satie was befriended by Jean Cocteau and wrote the
music
for a ballet, Parade, on which Pablo Picasso and Leonid Massine also
collaborated. By far the most important of Satie's works is Socrate ,
an harsh
setting for four sopranos and chamber orchestra of Plato's account of
the death
of Socrates. The young composers who formed the essentially Parisian
group
known as Les Six regarded Satie as a kind of tutelary genius, and in
1923 one of
them, Darius Milhaud, tried to found an "Ecole d'Arcueil," named for
the obscure
Paris suburb where Satie lived in extreme poverty.

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