Erik Satie

Passacaille, for piano

    Description by Alexander Carpenter

    Erik Satie returned to school in 1905 -- at the not-so-tender age of 40. Enrolling at the Scuola Cantorum, an academic institution founded by renowned composer Vincent d'Indy, he studied theory and counterpoint in an effort to make up for what he felt were deficiencies in his technical knowledge of music. He was also likely seeking to abolish the tag of "amateur" often applied to him by critics. He graduated from the Scuola in 1908 with a diploma in counterpoint. The effects of his schooling on the compositions dating from the years during and immediately after his studies were enormous, and the Passacaille is just one of many works dating from this student period. While these student works are little known and are not among Satie's best, they nonetheless represent a period of stylistic growth and evolution. Despite its name, this piece is not a true passacaglia, which would use a repeated ground bass as a basis for melodic variation; instead it employs frequent repetition of its opening few bars as an organizing device.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95350BR
    2015 Erato / Warner Classics 0825646047963
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 EMI Classics
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94087
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099968582
    2008 Virgin Classics 22050
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93559
    2006 Regis Records 1227
    2004 MDG 6131067
    2003 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243585602
    2003 Decca 000023002
    2002 EMI Music Distribution 74534
    2002 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 575147
    2002 Forlane 16591
    2000 Mandala 4975/79
    1998 EMI Music Distribution 72814
    1996 Koch Schwann 7358
    1995 Accord 200902
    1994 Mandala 4821
    1994 Naxos 550305
    1993 Virgin / Virgin Classics 59296
    1992 Vox 5011
    1989 EMI Music Distribution 62774
    Accord 201022
    Saga Classics 9041
    Virgin Classics 62363
    Brilliant Classics 93559/4