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

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by

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

(Choral hypocrite-Fugue à tâtons-Fantaisie musculaire)

Workshop recording. Peter Sheppard Skærved and Roderick Chadwick. London 9th April 2014

This piece has been something of an obsession of mine for many years. It is Satie’s only published work for violin and piano, although there is also another (untitled movement) for the combination. The piece is one of Satie’s funniest, and also most melancholy, and it always feels to me that the composer was playing a Magritte-like game with language. The score is littered with playfully poetic performance instructions, ranging from ‘dry and distant bones'( which always put me in mind of T S Eliot’s mock-surreal’I should have been a pair of ragged claws/Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.’) to ‘crest-fallen'(penaud), after a violin cadenza which is marked ‘with enthusiasm’. The exquisite chorale which begins the work is marked thus:

‘My Chorales equal those of Bach, with this difference; they are less numerous and less pretentious’

Peter Sheppard Skærved & Roderick Chadwick

 National Portrait Gallery, London 2 May 2014, 18:30 Free

Please check signage on the day for details

The year 1914 inspired lyricism from some composers, mock-heroic posturing and irony from others. In three years, Lilli Boulanger would be dead, and America drawn into the War.


Leoš Janá?ek-Sonata (1914)

Lilli Boulanger-Cortège (1914)

Erik Satie-Choses Choses vues à droite et à gauche sans lunettes (1914)

Charles Ives-2nd Sonata (1912-1914)