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Erik Satie and the Americans
Boston, Massachusetts
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 - 7:30 PM
In the Form of a Pear:
Two Concerts Considering Satie

"Satie's works are as simple, as straightforward, as devastating as the remarks of a child."
—Virgil Thomson

Composer Erik Satie (1866-1925) qualifies in all respects for the overused epithet "unique." He wrote his music in isolation from historical precedent or conventional practices, and actively defied reality with his work titles and occasionally the works themselves.

Three Pieces in the Form of a Pear is the title Satie assigned to a work that actually consists of seven parts, not three—nor even a "pair." Did someone eat the other four pieces, or are we just meant to be baffled? Vexations is rarely performed because it is an endurance test consisting of 840 repetitions of a single musical line. Nonetheless, teams of pianists sometimes do take on the challenge.

Roughly half of Satie's output was for piano, so it's not surprising that NEC's piano department takes the lead in celebrating his music and its influence.

In two Jordan Hall concerts, January 24 and February 15, NEC piano students will perform music of Satie alongside that of other French composers, and American composers whose work owes a debt to Satie's ideas.

Tonight's concert visits the Americans, including John Adams, John Cage, Morton Feldmen, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and Steve Reich. In 1968, Glass's first performance in New York included Music in the Form of a Square, an overt hommage to Satie's "Pear" piece.
Program Click for more info
Satie: Embryons desséchés
Available Recordings
Embryons desséchés d'Holothurie
Embryons desséchés d'Edriophthalma
Embryons desséchés de Podophthalma
Composer: Erik Satie
Satie: Trois morceaux en forme de poire
Available Recordings
I - Manière de commencement
II - Prolongation du même
III - Morceau 1 - Lentement
IV - Morceau 2 - Enlevé
V - Morceau 3 - Brutal
VI - En plus (Calme)
VII - Redite (Dans le lent)
Satie: Sports et divertissements
Available Recordings
La balançoire
Le tango perpétuel
Composer: Erik Satie
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