• Erik Satie’s Socrate (1918), Myths of Marsyas, and un style dépouillé

    Author(s):
    Samuel Dorf (see profile)
    Date:
    2014
    Subject(s):
    Classics, Historical musicology, Philosophy
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Erik Satie, Socrates
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6MN9P
    Abstract:
    In arguing that underneath the placid, 'stripped-down' style of Socrate there lurks a hidden violence, this essay does not focus on Satie's compositional process, documented in his notebooks; instead, it examines Socrate's performance history and the creation of the work's libretto, which the composer completed before sketching his musical ideas. Satie's novel selection and setting of the text is critical to this reading. The author examines how Satie reinterprets the violent myth of Marsyas and Apollo in the first movement, and how he ruminates on Socrates's dying words in the last movement. Understanding the ideas and events that led to the creation of Satie's enigmatic masterpiece allows us to view Socrate's portrayal of Plato's dialogues as part of a project of dépouillement, a neoclassical aesthetic that sought to strip down musical material in favor of an ascetic aesthetic uniting musical and moral Hellenism. This reading of Socrate allows us to reexamine the early 20th-century style dépouillé and to place Socrate at the center of debates on Socrates, Hellenism, and morality.
    Notes:
    https://currentmusicology.columbia.edu/article/erik-saties-socrate-1918-myths-of-marsyas-and-un-style-depouille/
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 days ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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