Erik Satie

Morceaux (3) en forme de poire (3 pieces in the form of a pear), for piano, 4 hands or orchestra

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Satie is well known for his many eccentricities, both in his personal life (he could always be seen wearing one of his 12 gray velvet suits, all exactly identical) and in the titles he gave his compositions, like Dried-up Embryos and this one, Three Pieces in the Form of a Pear. But in this latter instance at least, the title is not just the by-product of his quirkiness or seeming whimsicality. He chose it to both satirize Impressionism and its chief proponent, Claude Debussy, who supposedly had once advised Satie to pay greater heed to form.

    The work, lasting about 12 minutes, is divided into two movements, the first serving as a sort of prologue and the second consisting of seven (not three) pieces. The three pieces in the title refers to the three sections of the first movement, spelled out by Satie in the full title as the beginning (and extension), development, and reprise. It begins quietly and alludes to Impressionist sonorities before suddenly turning boisterous, then quite exotic in its colorful chirping sounds and other coloristic effects.

    The spirited first piece of the second movement is playful and march-like and may have influenced the early piano works of Prokofiev. The second piece is playful and mischievous in its leisurely pacing and humorously intrusive chords, while the third is jaunty, but at times rowdy in its infectious gaiety. The ensuing item is subdued and stately by contrast, while the short, lively fifth is quite attractive, if somewhat thematically repetitive. The sixth frames subdued and often exotic music with brief prankish episodes that feature sudden, loud chords. The last piece exudes several previously tasty flavors in its mixture of the exotic and carefree, of the march-like and gently playful.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Manière de commencement
    2. Prolongation du même
    3. Morceau 1 - Lentement
    4. Morceau 2 - Enlevé
    5. Morceau 3 - Brutal
    6. En plus (Calme)
    7. Redite (Dans le lent)

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Sony Classical 88875177492
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95350BR
    2016 Erato 555263
    2016 Sony Classical 88875192922
    2015 Erato / Warner Classics 0825646047963
    2014 Coviello Classics COV 91409
    2014 Harmonia Mundi HMX 290871015
    2014 Danacord DACOCD 746
    2014 LTM LTMCD 2571
    2013 Mirare MIR 189
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099967815326
    2011 KML Recordings 1126
    2011 Parlophone
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099908520821
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099968582
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 EMI Classics
    2009 KML Recordings 1120
    2009 Harmonia Mundi 902017
    2009 Harmonia Mundi HMC902017/18
    2008 Naxos 8572132
    2008 Virgin Classics 562466
    2008 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 567239
    2008 Virgin Classics 22050
    2008 LTM / LTM/Boutique LTMCD 2513
    2007 LTM 2474
    2006 Virgin 363296
    2006 Naxos 8 552137/8
    2005 Artemis Classics 1612
    2005 Erato / Virgin Classics 7243482002
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 49702
    2003 EMI Classics
    2003 Ensayo 9702
    2003 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243585602
    2003 EMI Classics
    2003 GHA 126054
    2002 Arion 268170
    2002 EMI Music Distribution 74534
    2002 Virgin 545533
    2001 Virgin 61846
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 568994
    2000 Decca 455401
    2000 Angel Records 67260
    2000 Mandala 4975/79
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 73705
    1998 Denon Records 17019
    1996 Mandala 4882
    1995 Fleurs de Lys FL2 3040
    1995 Naxos 8 550699
    1994 Mandala 4821
    1993 Virgin / Virgin Classics 59296
    1993 Disques Pierre Verany 792091
    1993 Vanguard 4030
    Accord 201022
    Angel Records 73595
    Denon Records 8096
    Virgin Classics 62363
    Brilliant Classics 9129
    Accord 220742
    Ades 20384
    Vox 5107