Erik Satie (1866-1925)

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01Dada Futurist20160516

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, starting with his legacy and his controversial Dadaist final works including Relâche.

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

Several contemporary schools of composition draw on Satiean inspiration, not least Minimalism, celebrating Satie since John Cage's championing of his work in the 1960s. Such celebrity was denied Satie for much of his life, but when it did come in his final years, rather than rest on his laurels he courted controversy, ditching earlier friends including Les Six and embracing extreme Dadaism, epitomised in the remarkably forward-looking "Cinema", the filmed entr'acte for the ballet Relache.

Sonnerie pour réveiller le bon gros Roi des Singes (lequel ne dort toujours que d'un oeil)

Pierre Thibaud, trumpet

Bernard Jeannoutot, trumpet

Gymnopédie No 1

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Vexations

Alan Marks, piano

Satie orch Milhaud: Jack in the Box

Jack Lanchbery, conductor

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Cinéma (Entr'acte from Relâche)

Sandra van Veen, Jeroen van Veen, pianos

Mercure

Pierre Dervaux, conductor

Orchestre de Paris

Ludions

Eva Lind, soprano

Jean Lemaire, piano

Seven Monkey Dances from Le Piège de Méduse

Bernard Desgraupes, director

Ensemble Erwartung

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

01Dada Futurist20160516

Donald Macleod focuses on Erik Satie's legacy and his controversial Dadaist final works.

01Dada Futurist20160516

01Dada Futurist20160516

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, starting with his legacy and his controversial Dadaist final works including Relâche.

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

Several contemporary schools of composition draw on Satiean inspiration, not least Minimalism, celebrating Satie since John Cage's championing of his work in the 1960s. Such celebrity was denied Satie for much of his life, but when it did come in his final years, rather than rest on his laurels he courted controversy, ditching earlier friends including Les Six and embracing extreme Dadaism, epitomised in the remarkably forward-looking "Cinema", the filmed entr'acte for the ballet Relache.

Sonnerie pour réveiller le bon gros Roi des Singes (lequel ne dort toujours que d'un oeil)

Pierre Thibaud, trumpet

Bernard Jeannoutot, trumpet

Gymnopédie No 1

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Vexations

Alan Marks, piano

Satie orch Milhaud: Jack in the Box

Jack Lanchbery, conductor

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Cinéma (Entr'acte from Relâche)

Sandra van Veen, Jeroen van Veen, pianos

Mercure

Pierre Dervaux, conductor

Orchestre de Paris

Ludions

Eva Lind, soprano

Jean Lemaire, piano

Seven Monkey Dances from Le Piège de Méduse

Bernard Desgraupes, director

Ensemble Erwartung

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

01Dada Futurist20160516

Donald Macleod focuses on Erik Satie's legacy and his controversial Dadaist final works.

01Dada Futurist20160516

01Gymnopediste2009110920110606

Donald Macleod explores Satie's early life and his famous set of three Gymnopedies.

Irascible.

Irreverent.

Infuriating.

He's the author of one of the most famous - and beautiful - piano pieces ever written.

Yet away from the famous Gymnopdie, Erik Satie still divides opinion like no other composer.

In today's episode, Donald Macleod explores Satie's early life - from his youth in the sleepy seaside town of Honfleur to the boozy dives of bohemian Montmartre...and that trio of Gymnopdies, written at the tender age of 20.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Erik Satie, concentrating on his early life - from his youth in the sleepy seaside town of Honfleur to the boozy dives of bohemian Montmartre, and that trio of Gymnopedies, written at the tender age of 20.

Musique d'ameublement No 1: Tenture de cabinet prefectoral (excerpt)

Ensemble Erwartung

Bernard Desgraupes (conductor)

FNAC 592292 Tr 4

Selection of early songs: Sylvie (1886); Chanson (1887); Les Fleurs (1886)

Eileen Hulse (soprano)

Robin Bowman (piano)

LTM LTMCD2459 Trs 6, 10, 12

Variations on a Theme of Eric Satie

Blood, Sweat and Tears

BGO BGOCD28 Tr 1

Gymnopedie No 3 (1886-8)

Reinbert De Leeuw (piano)

PHILIPS 4204722 Tr 7

Gymnopedie No 2 (1886-8)

Joanna MacGregor (piano)

COLLINS CLASSICS 10532COL Tr 6

Gymnopedie No 1 (1886-8)

Anne Queffelec (piano)

VIRGIN CLASSICS VC7907542 Tr 5

Gnossienne No 3 (orch.

Poulenc)

Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

Michel Plasson (conductor)

EMI CDC7494712 Tr 15

Trois Sarabandes (1887)

PHILIPS 4204722 Trs 8-10

Absence (arr.

Morgan Pochini)

Katherine Jenkins (soprano)

UNIVERSAL 9866064 Tr 13

Christy Doran and John Wolf Brennan: Waltz for Erik Satie

Christy Doran (guitar)

John Wolf Brennan (piano)

LEO LEOLABCD105 Tr 7

Dudley Moore: Satie

Dudley Moore (piano)

GRP GRP96612 Tr 11

Endorphin: Satie 1

From Cafe Del Mar - Volumen Seis

MANIFESTO 564861-2 Tr 7

Malcolm Mclaren: Walking With Satie

Malcolm Mclaren (voice)

VOGUE 74321191392 Tr 2

Jacques Loussier/Erik Satie: Gymnopedie No 1 - Variation 2

Jacques Loussier Trio

TELARC CD8431 Tr 2.

02Monsieur Le Pauvre2009111020110607

Donald Macleod explores Satie's 'mystic' period of the 1890s.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Erik Satie, focusing on the composer's 'mystic' period.

In the 1890s, Satie reinvented himself as a holy man - a self-imposed outcast from the 'wicked' musical establishment.

After a brief spell as the composer for a Christian cult, he set up his own church, studied mystical volumes in Paris's National Library and penned vitriolic articles in his own magazine (average circulation: 1).

Donald introduces the music of this period, including the infamous Vexations - a short piece that the pianist is apparently instructed to repeat 840 times - and the rare, almost Zen-like ballet Uspud.

Vexations (1893) (excerpt)

Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano)

DECCA 4736202, CD 2 Tr 23

Bonjour, Biqui, Bonjour!

To be recorded

Robert Young (voice/piano)

Uspud (Act 3) - 1892

DECCA 4736202, CD 5 Tr 6

Kyrie eleison; Dixit domine; Priere pour le salut de son ame (Messe des Pauvres - 1895)

Gaston Litaize (organ)

Choeur Rene Duclos

Pierre Dervaux (conductor)

EMI CZS7628772, CD 1 Trs 7-8

Danses de travers (Pieces froides)

Steve Hackett (guitar)

INSIDE OUT IOMACD4024 Tr 9

Je te veux (arr.

Tonika Ishinose)

Yoshikazu Mera (countertenor)

Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra

BIS 949 Tr 9

Genevieve de Brabant (orch.

Desormiere) (excerpts) (1899)

Genevieve....Mady Mesple (soprano)

Golo....Jean-Christophe Benoit (tenor)

Choeurs du Theatre Nationale de l'Opera de Paris

Paris Orchestra

EMI CZS7628772 CD 2 Tr 3

Trois morceaux en forme de poire (1903)

Klara Kormendi

Gabor Eckhardt (pianos)

NAXOS 8550699 Tr 9

Lost In Satie

Mount Florida

MATADOR OLE3992 Tr 1.

Donald Macleod introduces the music of this 'mystic' period, including the infamous Vexations - a short piece which the pianist is apparently instructed to repeat 840 times - and the rare, almost Zen-like ballet Uspud.

02Original Surrealist20160517

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, examining the work which earned Satie his own riot: the absurd ballet, Parade.

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

In 1920, Satie was at the height of his popularity, having in the years since the first world war produced some of his most sincere works. This may partly be due to a subconscious liberation experienced at the death of his former friend Debussy in 1918. Prior to that, still relishing his involvement with Les Six, in 1917 he produced with Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso the surreal masterpiece Parade, a Diaghilev ballet from which the resulting riot nearly landed the composer in jail.

La Belle excentrique

Michel Plasson, conductor

Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

Nocturnes

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Portrait de Socrate from Socrates

Darius Milhaud, conductor

Suzanne Danco, soprano

Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI di Rome

Sonata bureaucratique

Yuji Takahashi, piano

Parade

Louis Auriacombe, conductor

Orchestre de la Societé des Concerts du Conservatoire

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

02Original Surrealist20160517

Donald Macleod explores Satie's absurd ballet Parade, a work that caused a riot.

02Original Surrealist20160517

02Original Surrealist20160517

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, examining the work which earned Satie his own riot: the absurd ballet, Parade.

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

In 1920, Satie was at the height of his popularity, having in the years since the first world war produced some of his most sincere works. This may partly be due to a subconscious liberation experienced at the death of his former friend Debussy in 1918. Prior to that, still relishing his involvement with Les Six, in 1917 he produced with Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso the surreal masterpiece Parade, a Diaghilev ballet from which the resulting riot nearly landed the composer in jail.

La Belle excentrique

Michel Plasson, conductor

Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

Nocturnes

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Portrait de Socrate from Socrates

Darius Milhaud, conductor

Suzanne Danco, soprano

Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI di Rome

Sonata bureaucratique

Yuji Takahashi, piano

Parade

Louis Auriacombe, conductor

Orchestre de la Societé des Concerts du Conservatoire

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

02Original Surrealist20160517

Donald Macleod explores Satie's absurd ballet Parade, a work that caused a riot.

02Original Surrealist20160517

03Le Fantaisiste2009111120110608

Donald Macleod explores Satie's famously eccentric character.

In 1905, Satie renounced his bohemian lifestyle and decided, rather improbably...to go back to school, at the tender age of 39.

After two years of hard graft, he graduated with flying colours - and with typical perversity, set about composing some of the most surreal piano works ever written...

In today's episode, Donald Macleod explores his famously eccentric character, as expressed in works like Desiccated Embryos and the six 'monkey dances' from his Dadaist opera Medusa's Snare.

He ends with Satie's most famous stage work - the irreverent ballet Parade.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Erik Satie.

In 1905, Satie renounced his bohemian lifestyle and decided, rather improbably, to go back to school at the age of 39.

Donald focuses on Satie's famously eccentric character, as expressed in works like Desiccated Embryos and the six 'monkey dances' from his Dadaist opera Medusa's Snare.

Tenture de cabinet prefectoral (excerpt) (Musique d'ameublement No 2)

Ensemble Erwartung

Bernard Desgraupes (conductor)

FNAC 592292 Tr 12

Kurt Schwertsik: Clownerie acrobatique (Adieu Satie)

Per Arne Glorvingen (bandoneon)

Alban Berg Quartet

EMI 5577782 Tr 12

Passacaille

Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano)

DECCA 4736202, CD 3 Tr 1

Orchestre du Capitole De Toulouse

Michel Plasson (conductor)

EMI CDC74947212 Trs 1-4

Berceuse (Enfantillages pittoresques)

DECCA 4736202, CD 3 Tr 33

Les valses distinguees d'un precieux degoute (1912)

Anne Queffelec (piano)

VIRGIN CLASSICS VC7592962, Trs 7-9

Embryons Desseches (1913)

Joanna Macgregor (piano)

COLLINS CLASSICS 105332COL Tr 3

Seven Dances: Quadrille; Valse; Gigue; Mazurka; Danse-ballet; Polka; Quadrille (Le piege de Meduse) - 1913

Orchestre Des Concerts Lamoureux

Yutaka Sado (conductor)

ERATO 8573858272 Tr 12

Trois Melodies (orch.

Robert Caby): Le chapelier; Dapheneo; La statue de bronze (1916)

Carole Farley (soprano)

Orchestre de La RTBF

Jose Serebrier (conductor)

ASV CDDCA643 Trs 8, 6, 10

Parade (1917)

New London Orchestra

Ronald Corp (conductor)

HELIOS CDH55176 Tr 2.

03Silly Season20160518

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, finding Satie's playfulness in full flow with works like his "Flabby Preludes for a Dog".

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

Prior to the first world war Satie, as yet not subject to the scrutiny of the fame he would later enjoy, wrote many series of provocative and humorous miniatures, principally for piano. Bizarrely titled and sometimes completely inexplicable, often they had a satirical purpose or a pointed personal message, such as the rather ungentle dig at his then friend Debussy intended by the "Flabby Preludes for a Dog".

Stravinsky: Waltz from Three Easy Pieces for Piano Duo

Katia and Marielle Labèque, pianos

Satie: Sports et Divertissements

Pascal Rogé, piano

Satie: Cinq Grimaces pour le songe

Maurice Abravanel, conductor

Utah Symphony Orchestra

Satie: Choses vues à droite et à gauche (sans lunettes)

Chantal Juillet, violin

Pascal Rogé, piano

Satie: Embryons Desséchés

Yuji Takahashi, piano

Satie: Trois Poèmes d'amour

Gabriel Bacquier, baritone

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Satie: Trois Mélodies

Mady Mesplé, soprano

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Satie: Flabby Preludes & Veritable Flabby Preludes

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

03Silly Season20160518

Donald Macleod explores some of Satie's provocative and humorous miniatures.

03Silly Season20160518

03Silly Season20160518

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, finding Satie's playfulness in full flow with works like his "Flabby Preludes for a Dog".

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

Prior to the first world war Satie, as yet not subject to the scrutiny of the fame he would later enjoy, wrote many series of provocative and humorous miniatures, principally for piano. Bizarrely titled and sometimes completely inexplicable, often they had a satirical purpose or a pointed personal message, such as the rather ungentle dig at his then friend Debussy intended by the "Flabby Preludes for a Dog".

Stravinsky: Waltz from Three Easy Pieces for Piano Duo

Katia and Marielle Labèque, pianos

Satie: Sports et Divertissements

Pascal Rogé, piano

Satie: Cinq Grimaces pour le songe

Maurice Abravanel, conductor

Utah Symphony Orchestra

Satie: Choses vues à droite et à gauche (sans lunettes)

Chantal Juillet, violin

Pascal Rogé, piano

Satie: Embryons Desséchés

Yuji Takahashi, piano

Satie: Trois Poèmes d'amour

Gabriel Bacquier, baritone

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Satie: Trois Mélodies

Mady Mesplé, soprano

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Satie: Flabby Preludes & Veritable Flabby Preludes

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

03Silly Season20160518

Donald Macleod explores some of Satie's provocative and humorous miniatures.

03Silly Season20160518

04School of Satie20160519

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, looking at Satie's mid-life-crisis, when he went back to school and wrote chorales.

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

In 1905 at the age of 40 and after several years working as a composer and professional musician, Satie suffered a crisis of confidence and decided that he needed to re-learn the rudiments of music. He studied very successfully at the Schola Cantorum under Vincent D'Indy, and passed on his newly acquired knowledge to youngsters near his home in Arcueil. This decision had been a shock to his closest friends, including his first champion, Claude Debussy.

Chorales 1 & 2

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

En habit de cheval

Michel Plasson, conductor

Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

Pieces enfantines (Nouvelles enfantines, Menus propos enfantins, Enfantillages pittoresques, Peccadilles importunes)

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Allons-y chochotte

Gabriel Bacquier, baritone

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Trois Morceaux en forme de poire

Pascal Roge, Jean-Philippe Collard, pianos

Tendrement

Regine Crespine, soprano

Philippe Entremont, piano

Satie orch Debussy: Gymnopédies

Michel Plasson, conductor

Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

04School of Satie20160519

Donald Macleod on Satie's midlife crisis, when he went back to school and wrote chorales.

04School of Satie20160519

04School of Satie20160519

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, looking at Satie's mid-life-crisis, when he went back to school and wrote chorales.

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

In 1905 at the age of 40 and after several years working as a composer and professional musician, Satie suffered a crisis of confidence and decided that he needed to re-learn the rudiments of music. He studied very successfully at the Schola Cantorum under Vincent D'Indy, and passed on his newly acquired knowledge to youngsters near his home in Arcueil. This decision had been a shock to his closest friends, including his first champion, Claude Debussy.

Chorales 1 & 2

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

En habit de cheval

Michel Plasson, conductor

Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

Pieces enfantines (Nouvelles enfantines, Menus propos enfantins, Enfantillages pittoresques, Peccadilles importunes)

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Allons-y chochotte

Gabriel Bacquier, baritone

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Trois Morceaux en forme de poire

Pascal Roge, Jean-Philippe Collard, pianos

Tendrement

Regine Crespine, soprano

Philippe Entremont, piano

Satie orch Debussy: Gymnopédies

Michel Plasson, conductor

Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

04School of Satie20160519

Donald Macleod on Satie's midlife crisis, when he went back to school and wrote chorales.

04School of Satie20160519

04Two Masterpieces2009111220110609

Donald Macleod presents two works considered Satie's greatest, plus a rare miniature.

Donald Macleod introduces two works widely regarded as Satie's greatest, plus a rare miniature for violin and piano, The Embarkation For Cythera.

The brilliant suite of vignettes Sports Et Divertissements was commissioned to accompany a volume of artworks.

Originally turned down by Stravinsky, Satie almost rejected the project - as he felt the fee offered was too handsome.

Socrate is generally considered the composer's masterpiece - a unique, poignant, stunningly beautiful work for voices and chamber orchestra, setting Plato's account of the death of Socrates.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Erik Satie, introducing two works widely regarded as his greatest, plus a rare miniature for violin and piano, The Embarkation for Cythera.

Socrate is generally considered the composer's masterpiece - a unique, poignant, beautiful work for voices and chamber orchestra, setting Plato's account of the death of Socrates.

John Cage: Cheap Imitation

Teodoro Anzellotti (accordion)

WINTER and WINTER 9100802 Tr 1

L'embarquement pour Cythere (1917)

Isabelle Faust (violin)

Alexandre Tharaud (piano)

HARMONIA MUNDI HMC90201718, CD 2 Tr 28

Sports et divertissements: Choral inappetissant; La balancoire; La chasse; La comedie Italienne; La reveille de la mariee; Colin-Maillard; La peche; Le yachting; Le bain de mer; Le carnaval; Le golf; La pieuvre; Les courses; Le water-chute; Le tango; Le traineau; Le flirt; Le feu d'artifice; Le tennis

Pascal Roge (piano)

DECCA 4553702 Trs 1-21

Socrate (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

Socrate....Marie-Therese Escribano (soprano)

Phedre....Michele Bedard (soprano)

Alcibiade....Emiko Iiyama (soprano)

Phedon....Gerlinde Lorenz (soprano)

Die Reihe

Friedrich Cerha (conductor)

VOXBOX CDX 5107.

05Mystic Cabaret20160520

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, reaching the core of mystic spirituality and boozy nightlife - and timeless Gymnopédies.

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

Reaching back to the 1880s and 90s Donald unpicks the core of Satie's inspirations: a curious mixture of highly mystical spirituality and rather earthy cabaret. Satie was happy to combine both, writing music for his own church of Jesus Christ the Conductor by day and consuming large quantities of absinthe as a pianist in the legendary Black Cat Café by night. The contradictory qualities of Satie all come together in his earliest and most celebrated work: the Gymnopédies.

Je te veux

Mady Mesplé, soprano

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Messe

Gaston Litaize, organ

Choeurs Rene Duclos

Jean Laforge, chorus master

Pierre Dervaux, conductor

Uspud

Bojan Gorišek, piano

Le Fils des étoiles

Laura Gilbert, flute

Stacey Shames, harp

Gnossiennes

Jacques Loussier Trio

Gymnopédies No 1, 2, 3

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

05Mystic Cabaret20160520

Donald Macleod discusses Satie's earliest and most celebrated work, the Gymnopedies.

05Mystic Cabaret20160520

05Mystic Cabaret20160520

Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse. Donald Macleod peels off the layers, reaching the core of mystic spirituality and boozy nightlife - and timeless Gymnopédies.

Erik Satie's existence was a self-consciously surreal one. He reinvented himself throughout his life, rather like a proto-David Bowie, changing his clothing, his friends, his beliefs, and his music. Though he claimed not to want to, he influenced countless others, but he had a tendency to dramatically fall out with almost everyone he was close to. This week, marking the composer's 150th anniversary, Donald Macleod peels off the layers to examine Satie's life in reverse, beginning with his significant posthumous influence and working back to the early music which is still a household name.

Reaching back to the 1880s and 90s Donald unpicks the core of Satie's inspirations: a curious mixture of highly mystical spirituality and rather earthy cabaret. Satie was happy to combine both, writing music for his own church of Jesus Christ the Conductor by day and consuming large quantities of absinthe as a pianist in the legendary Black Cat Café by night. The contradictory qualities of Satie all come together in his earliest and most celebrated work: the Gymnopédies.

Je te veux

Mady Mesplé, soprano

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Messe

Gaston Litaize, organ

Choeurs Rene Duclos

Jean Laforge, chorus master

Pierre Dervaux, conductor

Uspud

Bojan Gorišek, piano

Le Fils des étoiles

Laura Gilbert, flute

Stacey Shames, harp

Gnossiennes

Jacques Loussier Trio

Gymnopédies No 1, 2, 3

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Producer: Dominic Jewel.

05Mystic Cabaret20160520

Donald Macleod discusses Satie's earliest and most celebrated work, the Gymnopedies.

05Mystic Cabaret20160520

05 LASTLe Maitre2009111320110610

Donald Macleod focuses on Satie's momentous last decade.

By the early 1920s, Satie was the toast of Paris.

Having been spotted by the legendary impresario Jean Cocteau, he found himself working with the likes of Picasso and hailed by a new generation as "the Prince Of Musicians".

The composer had also invented "furniture music" - designed to work unnoticed as interior decoration, a little like modern muzak.

Donald Macleod introduces Satie's momentous last decade, featuring two rare fanfares for trumpet and a song written in memory of the composer's greatest friend and colleague, Claude Debussy.

The week ends with Satie's remarkable Entr'acte Cinematographique, the first ever film music to be written frame-by-frame, and a startling precursor of minimalism.

Donald Macleod concludes his exploration of the life and work of Erik Satie, concentrating on the composer's momentous last decade.

Having been spotted by the legendary impresario Jean Cocteau, he found himself working with the likes of Picasso and hailed by a new generation as 'the Prince Of Musicians'.

The composer had also invented 'furniture music' - designed to work unnoticed as interior decoration, a little like modern Muzak.

Featuring two rare fanfares for trumpet and a song written in memory of Satie's greatest friend and colleague Claude Debussy.

Plus the remarkable Entr'acte cinematographique, the first ever film music to be written frame-by-frame and a startling precursor of minimalism.

Musique d'ameublement No 3: Carrelage Phonique

Ensemble Erwartung

Bernard Desgraupes (conductor)

FNAC 592292 Tr 34

Louis Durey: Hommage a Erik Satie

Francois Le Roux (baritone)

Graham Johnson (piano)

HYPERION CDA67257 Tr 1

Sonnerie pour reveiller le bon gros roi des singes (lequel ne dort toujours que d'un oeil) - 1921

Richard Giangiulio, Bert Traux (trumpets)

CRYSTAL CRR230 Tr 10

La statue retrouvee (1923)

Hakan Hardenberger (trumpet)

Simon Preston (organ)

BIS BISSACD109 Tr 6

Six Nocturnes (1919)

Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano)

DECCA 4736202, CD 3 Trs 44-49

Trois petits pieces montees (1919): De L'enfance de Pantagruel - reverie; Marche de Cocagne - demarche; Jeux de Gargantua - coin de polka

Orchestre Des Concerts Lamoureux

Yutaka Sado (conductor)

ERATO 8573858272 Trs 18-20

Quatre Petites Melodies (1920): Elegie; Danseuse; Chanson a Boire; Adieu

Anne-Sophie Schmidt (soprano)

Jean-Pierre Armengaud (piano)

HARMONIA MUNDI HMCD90 Trs 25-28

Entr'acte cinematographique (Relache) (1924)

Ars Nova Ensemble

ERATO STU71336 Tr 1.