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Works included:


  • Allegro
  • Gymnopédie nº1
  • Vexation
  • Danse de Travers nº1
  • Petit ouverture à danser


* This product only contains sheet music in PDF format. It does not contain audio tracks.

Yet, you can always listen to the pieces on Spotify here. Recorded by Cobra.

Read more about Enno Voorhorst here.

Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was the son of Jane Leslie Anton and Alfred Satie. His mother was from Scottish origin, she died when Éric was only 6 years old. His father was a ship broker in Honfleur and after the death of his wife, he sold his business and became a translator in Paris. From the age of 6 until he was12 Éric lived with his paternal grandparents in Honfleur and when his grandmother died he rejoined his father in Paris who married a piano teacher the following year. After 1884, when he was18 years old, Éric changed his name into Erik Satie.

In 1920 when Arnold Schönberg promoted the music of Satie in Vienna, most of his followers of the second Viennese school regarded Satie as a trivial farceur. Even today he is mostly known as a cross-over composer who appeals well beyond the classical audience. However, during his life he became a well known Parisian avant garde composer who worked with Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau (Parade). Many of his ideas and compositions were ahead of his time and he had followers called the ‘Les Six’. Nevertheless, he did not want to be part of a ‘Satie-school’ because art should always be innovative. He liked to be ironical, absurd and funny. A clear example is the première of the ballet Relâche in 1924 together with Picabia and the Swedish Ballet . This was a much advertised spectacle and when the audience arrived, they found the theatre in darkness and closed. Relâche refers to the absence of performance, so everyone thought they were fooled. The ballet was presented three days later. The announcement asked the audience to bring opaque glasses and something to cover the ears. The printed program was provoking and had texts like ‘Erik Satie is the greatest musician in the world’, ‘I would rather hear them protesting than applauding’ and ‘If you are not satisfied, the box office will sell you a whistle for two cents’.

In these days Paris was a cultural capitol and a centre of technical development. In 1889 Satie witnessed the Exposition Universelle which the Eiffel Tower was especially built for and where Thomas Edison had a pavilion with his recent inventions such as the phonograph. This also was the time that instruments for mechanical performance, such as barrel organs and pianola’s appeared. The influence of these modern times are clear in his compositions Descriptions Automatiques, the Musique d’ameublement or the Sonatine Bureaucratique although he had an unexpected distrust of modern technology. Furthermore typical for Satie are the mysterious textual indications and strange titles. In the Pièces Froides a passage is indicated to play ‘white’, or in the first movement of Embryons Déssechés you should play like a nightingale with a toothache. His whole life Satie had a deep-rooted dislike of conventions in all its forms. Who would come to the idea to play Vexations 840 times and also describe how to prepare for that? In 1895 he decided to found his own church: l’Elglise Métropolitain d’Art de Jésus Conducteur. He printed and distributed pamphlets and appointed himself as Parcier and Maître de Chapelle. The church’s hierarchy he described in detail; there should be at least 1.600.000.000 members all wearing black robes and a grey hat. The ‘arms’ of the church were to be: a large battle sword and a lance of five meters long. Also in politics Satie did not recoil from setting up a committee having his friend Veyssière elected as president of France.

With his pince-nez, umbrella and velvet corduroy suits, Satie was a notorious figure who worked in the most creatively stimulating environments of the time: Montmartre and Montparnasse. He made his living being a bar pianist and later as a cabaret pianist and composer. He loved good food and drinks (absinth) and was loved for his pleasant company. From 1898 until his death Satie lived in Arcueil, a suburb of Paris. To his work he would walk the distance of 10 kilometers daily, frequently stopping at his favorite cafés. From here, Satie would catch the last train back to Arcueil at about 1.00 am, but if he was still engaged in serious drinking, he’d miss the train and would begin the long walk home during the early hours of the morning. Satie died of liver cirrhosis at the age of 59.

Erik Satie, Arr. E.Voorhorst

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