Thursday, November 29, 2012

Echo Mountain, above a rainy day


Debussy and Ravel feuded in public and in private. Their music had similar answers but each argued endlessly that it was wrong, so wrong, how the other had chosen to formulate the question.

They were related -- like big and little brother, first-born and next in line --  constantly encroaching on each other's territory. Eventually Ravel said, “It is probably better after all for us to be on frigid terms for illogical reasons.”

But both loved and protected Erik Satie. Their spiritual baby brother. Though, in reality, Satie was older than Ravel. Satie never threatened any borders, because he had a land of his own.

I'm just sorry Argerich never played this.


42 comments:

  1. My husband has (rather I ) this song which is on Satie's collection..Love his music... Wow, the sunset didn't look like that over here!.

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  2. I have always loved this piece, as well as the Gymnopedies; Satie's music is intriguing and unusual.
    Your photo fits beautifully!

    Have you ever read any of Satie's writings?

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  3. I love all three composers,and especially this piece. It's magical. Seems to me I've heard it in a movie recently - any ideas?

    Your sunset is fabulous! Or is it a sunrise?

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  4. There is no other music like Satie's that I can think of. It's not hard to play, really, yet it requires something not every pianist has.

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  5. @Petrea: I think it requires an understanding of where Satie was coming from.. A lot of emotion in his pieces for sure.

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  6. My blood pressure just fell a couple of points. Thank you.

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  7. Love Debussy and Ravel but principally Erik Satie! The first time I hear Satie was in the great beautiful film "The Fire Within" (Le feu follet, 1963) a French drama directed by Louis Malle. Ever since I am in love by Satie's music. "The Fire Within" is very much dependent on the biting, melancholy piano music of Erik Satie. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle. The film stars Maurice Ronet, Jeanne Moreau, Alexandra Stewart... Beautiful film, beautiful music.
    Thanks for sharing Erik Satie!

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  8. Ah! I forgot to say that I love the photo!

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  9. Here the scene with Satie music:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwSQxlwMzr8

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  10. Thanks so much, Sonia. A very moving scene, beautifully acted and filmed, and the music really conveys the emotions. Must see the entire movie now.

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  11. My God, Sonia. That scene just did me in. What pacing, what an actor. I'm with Bellis -- I just ordered it on netflix. Though perhaps a movie best seen when the sun is shining.

    Petrea, I didn't know you played. I agree with KBF. His instructions for one of his pieces was, "Play like a nightingale with a toothache."

    Bellis, Rudolph's The Moderns, maybe?

    Hi Terri, you're welcome.

    Ms M, have you? Tell me more.

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  12. I didn't realize it was an arugment, I always thought it was a conversation. My son it captivated by Satie. On a side note I love Gershwin's influence on Ravel. It's the perfect weekend to catch up on all those movie recommendations.

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  13. I'm sure you hiked up to that perspective? A fine, fine photo, but let's not forget your fine sentences, too--among them: "Satie never threatened any borders, because he had a land of his own." Maybe the flip side of that is, "Feed your enemies." It's hard to believe peace is so hard to achieve. Shame on us.

    You did mean to write about world peace, didn't you?

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  14. I used to play. Not anymore.
    Yes, forgot to say how magical the photo is. I wondered, while looking at it, if you had taken a Satie CD up to the mountain to listen. But I doubt that, knowing you.

    Any film by Rudolph. But especially "The Moderns."

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  15. Karin, (as I love to research), please, take a look on the vast Erik Satie Filmography. Wow!

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  16. Des, aware of his influence, Gershwin told Ravel, "Be a first-rate Ravel, not a second-rate Gershwin." (Or words to that effect.

    Bien sur, Banjo. As Debussy and Ravel were battling for admiration from the same audience, Satie attempted to please no one (and failed at this miserably).

    No I didn't, P. But for some reason it was playing on an imaginary loop. And still is.

    Sonia, I can't get your scene out of my mind. I've been trying to write a monologue for one of my characters, and it's playing the devil with the tone. So, Satie is in every movie except the one I thought. Hah!



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  17. Lovely photo, above the rain.

    Didn't know any thing about Satie, so doing some research.

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  18. I've heard the melancholy piece before but didn't know the creator. Not too familiar with Debussy. Ravel makes me think of "Bolero" which to me is basically a musical orgasm.

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  19. So you made me load my Satie CD onto my computer and now I'm listening to the whole thing. Perfect for the end of a rainy day.

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  20. Pierre, from someone else who dislikes Bolero, try this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqAlMItkV44
    or
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55Z5W4Y6o5Q



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  21. Karin, I read "A Mammal's Notebook: Collected Writings of Erik Satie" years ago. It's delightful! Stories, musings, drawings, music.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/148576.A_Mammal_s_Notebook

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  22. I've got it now, the movie I heard this Satie in was The Painted Veil. Lovely movie, sad.

    I fell in love with my Richard because he could play all my favorite pieces on the piano. Any request, he played it from memory without sheet music. Now he doesn't play any more, and I miss it.

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  23. Stunner of a photo! Perfect musical post for a rainy day. I had a cassette tape of Satie music in high school that I played to de-stress, but even now I don't know much about him. Now you make me want to learn more! And now I know the answer to the question What's the link between My Dinner With Andre, Man on Wire, The Royal Tenenbaums, Gran Turismo 4 and Ice Loves Coco?

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  25. oops. Since i purchased Gymnopies whom you introduced me too - but I don't like the version I bought - they only let you listen to a clip who do you suggest for Gnossienne?

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  26. You know, some go so slow, as if Satie needed gravitas. And others bang in on passages that have natural punctuation. I like Roge. He just plays it.

    Who did you not like?

    (to your delete -- Margaret Argerich, and she has all ten fingers. Here's a tiny Ravel piece (in general, she didn't pay much attention to the three boys): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfPIdFT-UDU&playnext=1&list=PL4C4D39A23B102F94&feature=results_video

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  27. utterly fabulous......love this music!!!

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  28. Hi Karin,
    Did you like the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin? He is one of my preferred. My mother used to play so well Scriabin. If you have the time to see, I did a post with three videos of Scriabin. Please click Here

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  29. Oh is that beautiful. That was a piece my daughter plays, it stops me in my tracks.

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  30. Now I want to have a film festival of all those films featuring Satie's music. You picked the perfect choice for your beautiful photo.

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  31. I had to come back to share this clip from Man on Wire, featuring Gymnopedie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d_1Y1E3fps

    It's riveting.

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  32. Thanks Susan for the link to the video! I saw the film and loved it!

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  33. when you purchase from iTunes - you make your choice on a clip. I chose Gymnopedie among the selection presented to me, namely, because it was one of the longer versions. A surprising difference in time between pieces depending on whose playing them. Plus "G" is in three parts - but it's not sold as such. Thats the thing. If your not familiar with the worlds greatest (insert here) you can end up with a "less then" interpretation of the piece. Thats what happened with Gynopedie. I didn't like the way the piece was finished off. My question - who would you recommend for this Gnossienne?

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  34. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLFVGwGQcB0 (Varsanno)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHH2RREB5Ec (Roge)

    I like Roge the best.

    as an aside, did anyone who saw The Fire Within notice he's reading Fitzgerald?

    Many thanks, Susan. Related to this, oddly, I'd rented Hugo before I wrote this and just watched it today. What should be on the soundtrack, but, yes, that's right.

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  35. Hearing that piece in Hugo must've been a mystical moment, Hiker. I'll have to watch it again. His music adds so much to Man on Wire; it's hard to imagine that scene having the same emotional power without it.

    Sonia, I love how you put it here:
    "The Fire Within" is very much dependent on the biting, melancholy piano music of Erik Satie.

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  36. The Wirewalker -- Is it getting the mind to do your bidding? And if so, what is it that's commanding the mind? Or is it the mind in harmony with the will? It perplexes me so, in an awestruck way.

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  37. Is Roge the one with the grass. I like that one the best. Thats an interpretation...not that I'm much of an expert on the subject but Roge allows the dissonant chords to come through and the right pauses, kind of holds you mid air then drops you. Unfortunately iTunes has what iTunes has. I went through all of them and ended up choosing the three parts (although there might be as many as 5????) Paul Martinez

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  38. I have a CD from "Sony Essential Classics." The pianists are Daniel Varsano and Philippe Entremont. I like my CD a lot, though I haven't given much thought to comparisons.

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