Erik Satie

Sports et divertissements (Sports and diversions), pieces (21) for piano

    Description by Alexander Carpenter

    Sports et divertissements is a collection of 21 pieces for piano. These pieces are miniatures, and they combine music, poetry, calligraphy, and art in a charming and intimate way. Each piece in this set is very short, none more than four lines long, and each is accompanied by a small poem, and by Satie's irreverent verbal commentary. When the work was first published, it appeared with in Satie's own hand, the music written in his idiomatic, calligraphic style, with red and black ink. It is also important to note that, along with the poetry, calligraphy, and commentary, each piece of music is accompanied by a tiny sketch.

    With each piece, there is at least some connection between the music and the events or characters depicted in the accompanying poem. For example, in "Le Water-Chute," Satie depicts a waterfall with obvious descending scales; in "La Peche," the struggle between a fisherman and his would-be catch is depicted through the use of subtle ostinatos suggesting water, and short, skittish musical figures suggesting darting fish. The work as a whole offers perhaps the most in-depth access to Satie the composer; that is, every aspect of Satie's complex musical personality is represented here, as some of the pieces are witty, some pensive, some esoteric, some ironic, and some somber. For critics and musicologists alike, Sports et divertissements is generally regarded as one of Satie's best and most important works, for it represents, finally, the amalgamation of most of the stylistic idioms th composer had been developing in the years preceding this work. Alan Gillmor very elegantly has described Sports et divertissements as "the one work in which the variegated strands of Satie's artistic experience are unselfconsciously woven into a fragile tapestry of sight and sound -- a precarious union of Satie the musician, the poet, and the calligrapher."

    Parts/Movements

    1. Choral inappétissant (Unappetizing Choral)
    2. La balançoire (The Seesaw)
    3. La chasse
    4. La comédie italienne
    5. Le réveil de la mariée (The Bride's Awakening)
    6. Colin-Maillard
    7. La pêche (Fishing)
    8. Le yachting
    9. Le bain de mer (Sea Bathing)
    10. Le carnaval
    11. Le golf
    12. La pieuvre
    13. Les courses (The Races)
    14. Les quatres coins
    15. Le pique-nique
    16. Le water-chute
    17. Le tango perpetuel
    18. Le traineau
    19. Le flirt
    20. Feu d'artifice
    21. Le tennis

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 BIS BIS 2225
    2016 Sony Classical 88875177492
    2016 Zefir Records ZEF 9645
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95350BR
    2016 Erato 555263
    2016 Sony Classical 88875192922
    2015 Erato
    2015 Alto MCSCD 1276
    2015 Erato / Warner Classics 0825646047963
    2014 Skarbo DSK 3135
    2013 BNL Productions BNL 112972
    2011 Centaur Records CRC 3125
    2011 KML Recordings 1126
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94087
    2011 Warner Classics 672411
    2011 Warner Classics 2564671859
    2011 Warner Classics 2564672635
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099968582
    2010 Jaro / Zebralution
    2009 KML Recordings 1120
    2009 Erato / Virgin Classics 5099968635
    2009 Sony BMG / Sony Classical 8869753207
    2008 Virgin Classics 22050
    2007 Scandinavian Classics 220510
    2007 LTM LTMCD 2501
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93559
    2006 Regis Records 1227
    2006 Naxos 8 552137/8
    2005 Saphir Productions 001002
    2005 Centaur Records 2731
    2005 Ddd 99384
    2004 KHA celletti3
    2003 Ensayo 9702
    2003 Apex 41380
    2003 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243585602
    2003 Decca 000023002
    2003 EMI Classics
    2002 EMI Music Distribution 74534
    2002 Forlane 16591
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 568994
    2000 Col Legno WWE1CD 20010
    2000 Mandala 4975/79
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 73705
    1999 Calliope 9884
    1998 Winter & Winter 910031
    1998 Vox 7545
    1998 Denon Records 17019
    1997 Decca 455 370-2DH
    1995 Deutsche Grammophon 439767
    1995 Classico 126
    1995 Naxos 550698
    1994 Mandala 4821
    1993 Erato 92857
    1993 Erato 4509928572
    1993 Disques Pierre Verany 789105
    1992 Vox 5011
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 67282
    1989 Hyperion CDH55175
    1989 Hyperion CDA66344
    I.L.D. 642111
    Accord 201022
    Accord 221362
    Emergo 3970
    Accord 200592
    Saga Classics 9041
    Virgin Classics 62363
    Digital Concerto 747
    Brilliant Classics 93559/4
    Conifer 51512
    FM Classic 63
    Nuova Era 7202
    Collins Records 10532
    Collins Records 1053