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Work

Erik Satie

Erik Satie Composer

Age-old and instantaneous hours (Heures séculaires et instantanées)   

Performances: 2
Tracks: 4
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Musicology:
  • Age-old and instantaneous hours (Heures séculaires et instantanées)
    Year: 1914
    Genre: Other Keyboard
    Pr. Instrument: Piano
    • 1.Obstacles venimeux
    • 2.Crépuscule matinal (de midi)
    • 3.Affolements grantiques
Between about 1911 and 1917, Satie turned his attention from the sometimes dour music he'd written during his late studies of counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum and the repetitive, mystical style of his earlier Rosicrucian period, to quirky miniatures composed especially for pianist Ricardo Viñes, who introduced and promulgated many works by the likes of Ravel and Falla. Satie dedicated one such suite of three pieces, Heures séculaires et instantanées, to the imaginary figure Sir William Grant-Plumot, and laced the score with a surreal commentary he insisted should not be read aloud during performance. Whether the text has any direct bearing on the music is debatable, but it does reinforce the music's absurdist nature. The suite's first movement, "Obstacles venimeux" (Venemous Obstacles), begins with a limping, comically discordant figure that soon receives a more flowing treatment that is interrupted by quickly shifting march-like fragments. The limping version of the theme closes the piece. "Crépuscule matinal (de midi)," which translates as Morningtime Twilight (at Noon), begins with another fragmentary march that is constantly interrupted by a nattering motif and soon collapses in volleys of hiccups. "Affolements granitiques" (Granitic Panic) begins with an urgent little phrase repeated several times, which becomes the basis of several upward-rising gestures that abruptly end.

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