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Erik Satie - Gymnopedies

The Three Gymnopedies are no doubt the most famous of Satie’ works. The beautiful orchestrations by Debussy of the first and third pieces have of course also boosted their popularity. They followed closely on the heels of the Sarabandes of 1887, which, Satie and his apologists insisted, marked a turning point in the history of French music: the musical life of Paris was dominated by Wagnerian music drama at the time. The three pieces essentially explore a single idea; like the Sarabandes, they are one piece written three times, with subtle variations, as if viewed from a slightly different perspective each time.
The repetition and juxtaposition of melodic elements, together with the static harmonic language, lend the work its characteristic dreamy quality.


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