Gymnopédie No.1 is a soothing and relaxing piano piece and is great to listen to when reading, relaxing or sleeping. Great as baby lullaby too.
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (17 May 1866 – 1 July 1925), who signed his name Erik Satie after 1884, was a French composer and pianist.
The Gymnopédies, published in Paris starting in 1888, are three piano compositions written by French composer and pianist Erik Satie.
The Gymnopédies are the first compositions with which Erik Satie tried to cut himself loose from the conventional 19th century “salon music” environment of his father and stepmother. In September 1887, Satie composed three sarabands (Trois Sarabandes), taking a quote from Contamine’s La Perdition by way of introduction. By this time, Satie knew Contamine personally.
Satie apparently used the word “gymnopédiste” (gymnopaedist), before having written a note of his later famous gymnopédies.
The anecdote of Satie introducing himself as a “gymnopaedist” in December 1887 runs as follows: the first time Satie visited the Chat Noir cabaret, he was introduced to its director, Rodolphe Salis, famous for serving sharp comments. Being coerced to mention his profession, Satie, lacking any recognisable professional occupation, presented himself as a “gymnopaedist”, supposedly in an attempt to outwit the director.
The composition of the three Gymnopédies started only two months later, and was completed in April 1888.
In August 1888, the first Gymnopédie was published, accompanied by the verse of Contamine quoted above. However, it remains uncertain whether the poem was composed before the music, or whether Contamine intended the verse as a tribute to his friend, who had now completed both a set of sarabands and gymnopédies.
Later the same year the third Gymnopédie was published. There was, however, no publication of the second Gymnopédie until 7 years later, with several announcements of an impending publication of this gymnopédie being made in the Chat Noir and Auberge du Clou periodicals.
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