Erik Satie

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Erik Satie, French composer


General quotes[edit]

Satie made several versions of this small self-portrait, with the "thought" quote - these versions have also slight variations in the text
  • I eat only white foods: eggs, sugar, grated bones, the fat of dead animals; veal, salt, coconut, chicken cooked in white water; fruit mold, rice, turnips; camphorated sausage, dough, cheese (white), cotton salad, and certain fish (skinless)."
    • Quoted by Rollo H. Myers (1968). Erik Satie, p.135. New York: Dover.
    • See also Socrate for the context of this quote.
  • Étude pour un buste de M. Erik SATIE peint par lui-même, avec une pensée: je suis venu au monde très jeune dans un temps très vieux.
    • Translation: Study for a bust of Mr Erik Satie painted by himself, with a thought: I came into the world very young in an age that was very old.
    • (Written to accompany a self-portrait caricature drawn by himself - see image)
  • It is divided into three movements, which closely approximate a symphony in form. The first, 'From Dawn to Noon on the Sea', begins with a thin, hauntingly grayed quality and grows animated in such a spiritual manner that it is hard to see how Debussy's friend Erik Satie could have forsaken his customary elegance to remark that he particularly enjoyed the part at a quarter past eleven.
    • From the (unattributed) sleeve-notes on the 1988 RCA Victor release of Claude Debussy's La Mer.
  • nothing but an icy loneliness that fills the head with emptiness and the heart with sadness.
  • I took to my room and let small things evolve slowly.
    • The man in a velvet suit Lucy Daniel Telegraph Review January 25 2014.

Piano works[edit]

Satie was well known for curious directions to the would-be performer of his piano works, and also a sort of "running commentary" which he inserted into his humouristic works.

  • Postulez en vous-même.
    • Wonder about yourself.
  • Munissez-vous de clairvoyance.
    • Provide yourself with shrewdness.
  • Seul, pendant un instant.
    • Alone, for a moment.
  • Très perdu.
    • Very lost.
  • Ouvrez la tête.
    • Open your head.
  • Superstitieusement.
    • Superstitiously.
  • D'une manière très particulière.
    • In a very particular way.
  • Léger comme un œuf.
    • Light as an egg.
  • Citation de la célèbre mazurka de SCHUBERT
    • Citing of SCHUBERT's famous mazurka.
    • The piece in question that Satie was parodying was actually Chopin's Funeral March. Schubert never wrote any mazurkas that would have been well-known to his contemporaries, whereas Chopin wrote many of these pieces, that were very popular. Schubert was at the time however very often cited, for example, Satie's thentime friend Ravel had published Schubert-imitating Valses Nobles et Sentimentales in 1911.
  • Modéré, je vous prie.
    • Moderately, I insist.
  • Un peu chaud.
    • A little bit warm.
  • Très turc.
    • Very Turkish.

External links[edit]

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