105 x 85 x 8
I conceived this work as an example of renunciation—a simple, clear, bright core, as the “French” music “of France” which Satie very much sought. Everything falls into convulsions, everything is disoriented by aesthetic outlines, flatteries, subterfuges, all aspect unknown and reflected by Satie, who always preferred a fresh path where everyone can freely impress his own marks, firmly maintaining the gap between the Russian and the German rhetorical excesses.
Erik Satie’s birth fell at a very delicate time in the world of music. The “Wagnerian empire” demonstrated the other face of melodrama, a different way compared to Verdi’s opera, within which orchestra enjoyed the greatest importance, sacrificing (if I may say so) the domain of the singer to that of the instrument in order to raise him the same level of the orchestra. Wagner pushed the expressive capacity of the music up to the level of symbolism and description (of sword, gold, ecstasy of love, and so on).
At that time, Satie explained to Debussy the need for the French people to liberate themselves from the Wagnerian adventure, as it did not correspond to their natural ambition. It made him also realize that he was not anti-Wagnerian, simply that French people needed to have an own personal music “without Krauts, if possible”.
“Why not use the way to represent indicated by Claude Monet, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, etc.? Why not transpose these means? Nothing more simple, are not they expressions?”
Satie considered the music of that time in an ironical, anti-structural, anti-schematic way, a more intimate revolution. Considering simplicity and clarity as essential elements, he nevertheless did not ignore the academic style of form, which remained a point of reference; from the other side, the German music is based upon force, the sonorous power as the most appropriate vehicle for experimentation.