Benjamin Ivry

Major or Minor?

Erik Satie: A Parisian Composer and His World

By

The Boydell Press 269pp £29.95 order from our bookshop

Noted for a handful of hypnotically alluring piano pieces and a quizzical wit, the French composer Erik Satie nightly made a seven-mile walk from the centre of Paris to his flat in the suburb of Arcueil into a prolonged pub crawl. Before dying of cirrhosis in 1925 at the age of fifty-nine, Satie produced works of urbane suavity and mystic nobility that attracted the admiration of such contemporaries as Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Roussel, Milhaud, Honegger and Poulenc, some of whom had no comparable esteem for one another. Since his death, a series of biographers and musicologists have debated whether or not Satie prefigured surrealism, Dadaism or other artistic movements.

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