Erik Satie

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Erik Satie
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie
BirthplaceHonfleur, France
Pianist, composer

Satie, Erik

(ārēk` sätē`), 1866–1925, French composer, studied at the Paris Conservatory; pupil of Vincent D'Indy and Albert Roussel at the Schola Cantorum. He early realized that the romantic Wagnerian style was incompatible with the expression of French sensibility, and he developed a restrained, abstract, and deceptively simple style. In such piano pieces as Sarabandes (1887) and Gymnopédies (1888) he anticipated some of the harmonic innovations of the impressionists Debussy and Ravel; but in later works such as Socrate (1918; a setting of Plato's Dialogues for four sopranos and chamber orchestra) he foreshadowed the neoclassicism of Stravinsky and others writing in the early 20th cent. An eccentric, Satie often concealed his serious artistic intent with droll humor, adding nonsense programs or facetious titles such as Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear (1903). In 1918 there gathered around him a group of young composers—Honegger, Georges Auric, Louis Durey, and Germaine Tailleferre—who were united in the reaction against impressionism. They were joined in 1919 by Milhaud and Poulenc, and were called les six. A ballet, Les Mariés de la tour Eiffel (1921), which had music by all except Durey, was the one work in which the group collaborated. Jean Cocteau, their literary prophet, wrote the scenario.


See biographies by P. D. Templier (1932, repr. 1970), R. H. Myers (1948, repr. 1974), and J. Harding (1975).

References in periodicals archive ?
Organisers at the University annexe have chosen to set four pioneers of experimental music - Eric Satie, Charles Ives, John Cage and Christian Wolff - against more recent composers Bryn Harrison, John Lely and Howard Skepton.
Monotones II, music by Eric Satie and choreography and design by Frederick Ashton.
There are also two of the Gnossiennes by Eric Satie and pieces by a composer with a definite sense of humour, Poulenc.
A longtime friend of Picasso, Cocteau worked with him and with Eric Satie in 1917 on Diaghalev's ballet Parade, then considered scandalous.
Set to a jaunty, startling music score by Eric Satie performed by the Vienna Art Orchestra.