Satie: Complete Music for Piano Four Hands

In this video

Aperçus Désagréables (1908): This album contains some of Satie’s most important works: Parade, written for Cocteau, Relâche, Gymnopédies Nos. 1 and 3, and his so-called ‘Furniture music’, Musique d’ameublement of 1917.

Composer: Erik Satie
Artists: Sandra en Jeroen van Veen (piano four hands)

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Alfred Erik Leslie Satie (1866–1925) was born in Honfleur, of a Normand father and a Scottish mother. He rates as one of music’s true originals – a real ‘one-off ’. After his studies as an organist, and then a period as a rather unsuccessful concert pianist having studied with several eminent teachers (he hated the rules of academic life), he enrolled in the French Army. This didn’t solve his problems with life either, so he deliberately contracted bronchitis and was invalided out after being declared unfit for service.

It was after this sad episode that he started to compose, and his earliest published work was Valse-Ballet. Satie then entered the life of Parisian nightclubs, absorbing all the influences of sound and life on offer, becoming friends with Debussy – they met when Satie had got a job as second pianist at a club. Satie had developed a unique way of composing – a kind of musical freehand – and was introducing complex chord structures that would come to influence Debussy. His music attracted the attention of such leading figures as Diaghilev, Picasso, Ravel, Stravinsky and Cocteau. Even so, Satie had a feeling that he wasn’t being taken seriously as a composer, and embarked on a three-year counterpoint study with Albert Roussel. The piano four-hands form has a long and distinguished history with many major symphonic works by Brahms, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky published in this form for a wide domestic market. For many years the great classical composers’ works had appeared in this form, including works by Mozart and Schubert, who wrote specifically for piano four-hands. In the days before LPs, CDs and MP3s this was how music was heard in the home.


Parade – Ballet Réaliste (1917):
0:00:00 I. Choral
0:00:57 II. Prélude du rideau rouge
0:02:33 III. Prestidigitateur chiNois
0:05:20 IV. Petie fille américaine
0:06:53 V. Ragtime du paquebot
0:09:20 VI. Acrobates
0:12:52 VII. Suite au Prélude du rideau rouge

Trois Morceaux En Forme de Poire (1903):
0:13:12 Manière de commencement: Allez modérément
0:17:06 Prolongation du même: Au pas
0:18:05 I. Lentement
0:19:28 II. Enlévé
0:22:50 III. Brutal
0:26:01 En plus: Calme
0:28:23 Redite: Dans le lent

0:30:11 GymNopédie No. 1: Lent et douloureux (1888)

Aperçus Désagréables (1908):
0:34:12 I. Pastorale: Assez lent
0:35:48 II. Choral: Large de vue
0:37:15 III. Fugue: Non vite

En Habit de Cheval (1911):
0:40:28 I. Chorale: Grave
0:41:37 II. Fugue litanique: soigneusement et avec lenteur
0:44:31 III. Autre chorale: Non lent
0:45:26 IV. Fugue de papier: Assez modéré

Musiques d’Ameublement (1917):
0:48:01 I. Tapisserie en fer forgé
0:49:28 II. Carrelage phonique

Trois Petites Pièces Montées (1919):
0:50:37 I. de l’enfance de Pantagruel: Rêverie, modéré
0:51:46 II. Marche de Cocagne: Démarche, temps de Marche
0:52:46 III. Jeux de Gargantua: Coin de Polka, mouvement de Polka

La Belle Excentrique – Fantaisie Sérieuse (1920):
0:54:24 I. Grande ritournelle: Pas trop vite
0:56:29 II. Marche franco-Lunaire
0:58:22 III. Valse du mystérieux baiser dans l’oeil: Mouvement de valse
1:01:02 IV. Cancan grand-mondain: GalOp

1:03:17 GymNopédie No. 3 (1888)
1:06:37 Cinéma (1924)

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