Erik Satie

Le Piccadilly, march for piano

    Description by Alexander Carpenter

    Le Piccadilly, a march for solo piano, numbers among Satie's ragtime-inspired pieces. It is a cabaret piece, one among many responsible for Satie's reputation, early in the century, as a composer of popular songs rather than art music. Le Piccadilly, along with the song "La Diva de l' Empire," were the only two ragtime pieces published out of many the sketched pieces found in Satie's notebooks. Satie's interest in ragtime, born perhaps out of the Parisian vogue of the "cakewalk" rhythm around 1900, was to resurface years later in his experimental ballet Parade.

    Le Piccadilly is a simple march in a standard ternary form, following in the tradition of John Philip Sousa and Scott Joplin, as Satie scholar Eric Gillmor notes, the piece is divided into regular, even periods, with a trio in the subdominant key (a typical modulation) comprising the central section. Gillmor points out that Satie diverges slightly from standard form in that, along with the four-bar introduction, there is also an added four-bar vamp preceding each sixteen-bar strain. It should also be noted that this piece, so strongly influenced by American ragtime, actually borrows from an American song, "Hello! Ma Baby," by Howard and Emerson.

    Satie's involvement with ragtime is significant: musicologists suggest that Satie may have been the first French composer to make use of ragtime, and its rhythms and character continued to flavor his music for many years.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 MDG MDG 6131926
    2016 Zefir Records ZEF 9645
    2016 BIS BIS 2215
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95350BR
    2016 ABC Classics ABC 4812670
    2016 Erato 555263
    2015 Alto MCSCD 1276
    2015 Erato / Warner Classics 0825646047963
    2014 Fleur de Son / Fleur de Son Classics FDS 58022
    2014 Harmonia Mundi HMX 290871015
    2013 Mirare MIR 189
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099967815326
    2012 EMI Classics
    2012 EMI Classics
    2011 Parlophone
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94087
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945754
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099968582
    2010 EMI Classics / EMI Classics / Warner Classics 50999906820
    2009 Erato / Virgin Classics 5099968635
    2009 Harmonia Mundi HMC902017/18
    2009 Harmonia Mundi 902017
    2009 Sony BMG / Sony Classical 8869753207
    2008 EMI Classics 3385212
    2008 Naxos 8572132
    2008 Naxos 8503204
    2008 ABC Classics 4766805
    2008 Virgin Classics 22050
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93559
    2007 ABC Classics 4766289
    2006 Transart Live 134
    2006 Decca 000639302
    2006 EMI Music Distribution 41444
    2006 Naxos 8 552137/8
    2005 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 0946338522
    2005 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0946370886
    2005 Virgin 59515
    2005 Ddd 99384
    2003 Arts Music 47672
    2003 Decca 000144702
    2003 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243585602
    2003 Decca 000023002
    2002 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 575147
    2002 Forlane 16591
    2002 Decca 470290
    2000 Mandala 4975/79
    2000 Intersound 1224
    1999 Classical Heritage 1222
    1999 Calliope 9884
    1999 Dynamic 2018
    1998 Simply The Best 70332
    1997 Decca 4581052
    1997 JVC Compact Discs 6506
    1995 Naxos 8 550699
    1994 Mandala 4821
    1993 Disques Pierre Verany 789105
    1992 Summit Records 119
    1984 London 410220
    Teledisc 3
    Radiant Mastery 1002
    Accord 201022
    Accord 200072
    Naxos 8572115
    Virgin Classics 62363
    EMI Music Distribution 62017
    Brilliant Classics 93559/4
    FM Classic 63
    Conifer 51512
    Forlane 16752