recognized as one of the great composers produced by France. Today, Satie is generally accepted as one of
the fathers of modernism; we have not
as yet seen the dusk of his influence or
importance.Probably the most characteristic
aspect of Satie's music is its pointed
and malicious irony, its often effervescent humor. Satie, as a matter of
fact, is often referred to as "the father
of humor in music." "He was," writes Rudhyar D. Chennevière, "a typical
product of the beginning of his century,
of this exhausted civilization which
jeers in order not to look death in the
face. And he is the buffoon who cracks
his punning jokes in increasing number,
pushing them to extravagance, in order
to make the neurotic beings who march
past him laugh despite themselves, these
luxurious adventurers who flock to
shake off their thoughts in contemplation of his poverty."However, Satie is certainly infinitely more than a mere humorist in
music. Henri Prunières has complained
justifiably that "in spite of . . . pages
of great beauty, his work has never
been appreciated at its true worth, because the public insists on seeing Satie
as a humorist.""Music is perhaps too vague and
fluid a medium," comments W. Wright
Roberts, "for his sharply realistic
fancies. But so clear-cut, so pointed, so
economical is his art as to compel us
sometimes to admit that he has cut out
in music figures shapely or grotesque,
with the quality of the 'marble, the
onyx, the enamel' of which Gautier
writes, and to which, as artistic media,
he promises eternity. And, thanks to
musical rhythm, these miniature figures
move: they live and disport themselves
in the mind. . . . Satie, then, seems
likely to live as a musical miniaturist."We might conclude with a word by Paul Rosenfeld: "His music is modest
in expression, quiet, utterly without
bombast, in every bar the product of
the good taste which abhors the discharge of fireworks from the breast.
. . . Like Stravinsky, he sought to refresh musical art by going to demotic
music for themes, rhythms and instrumental effects. . . . He was one of the
first to see the possibilities for music to
be found in the polyrhythms of American commercial jazz."Principal works by Erik Satie:
|ORCHESTRA : Incidental music to Fils des
Etoiles; Socrate (with voice); prelude to La Porte Héroique du Ciel.|
|BALLET : Parade; Relâche; Mercure.|
|PIANO : O gives; Sarabandes; Gymnopédies
(orchestrated by Debussy) ; Gnossienes, etc.|
About Erik Satie:
Coeuroy André. Panorama de la Musique
Satie Erik. Mémoires d'un
Templier P. D. Erik Satie.
Important recordings of music by Erik Satie:
VICTOR: Gymnopédies (orchestrated by Debussy); Gnossienes.
Ernest Schelling 1876-
ERNEST HENRY SCHELLING,
American composer, was born on July 26, 1876 in Belvedere, New Jersey.
His father was a philosopher and theosophist who settled in America shortly
after the European turmoil of 1848.
Young Ernest was a musical prodigy
from his fourth year, when he made his
first public appearance as pianist in Philadelphia. He showed an amazing
instinct for the piano, and it was decided
to send him to Europe to devote himself entirely to musical study. At the
age of eight, he took lessons under Mathias, pupil of Chopin, and two years
later found him a pupil of the great Leschetizky. It was at this time that the
boy-musician met and played for Johannes Brahms.
"All that I recall," he tells us today,
"was that he took me toward him, leaned
over and kissed me, his huge beard
smothering me as he did so. Then he
turned to my father and said: 'What
this boy needs is more oatmeal, more
fresh air.' Brahms wrote my father later
about my music, and that letter was in
my pocket one day when, out in a canoe,
the boat capsized, and his precious words
and I were soaked."
While still a pupil of Leschetizky,
Schelling was taken to the Lake of Con
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Composers of Today:A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations.
Contributors: David Ewen - Editor, David Ewen - Compiler.
Publisher: H. W. Wilson.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1934.
Page number: 228.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may
not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.