13 February 2007

Satie and Louis XIV

So one time back in college I checked out an authoritative collection of Satie piano pieces from the library in order to work on my sight reading. His works can be simple with repetition yet still cover the keyboard and include odd phasing and voicing. It throws some curves at you.

Anyway, I was reading through in a practice room and my best-friend-at-the-time, Ed Schoen (how old are you when you stop having best friends?) knocked and came in to chat. I was showing him the wacky comments that Satie added at various points in the score, and we quickly realized that a dramatic reading of the material was required. I don't remember exactly, but the text had something to do with a French aristocrat who was excessively proud of his legs. Over the static harmonies, Ed would deliver these over-serious proclamations of a dandy honoring his legs. It had such a Pythonian ridiculousness about it that I could barely play from laughing.

This morning, on NPR, Susan Stamberg pointed out parenthetically that Louis XIV was very proud of his legs. It reminded me--and how could it not--about the Satie piece and how backstories may take decades to be revealed.

[ posted by sstrader on 13 February 2007 at 1:01:34 PM in Music ]