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Satie: La Belle Excentrique

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A night out in the city of love

The Parisian night life has long been an incredible source of inspiration for artists. In fact, a significant number of art works from the turn of the 20th century depict scenes from such famous cabarets as the Moulin Rouge and the Lapin Agile. Fascination with the dance hall culture also poured over into music. The composer Erik Satie worked for a time as a cabaret pianist in his early years, which may explain the source of the catchy and flashy tunes he uses in his suite La belle excentrique. Each of the four dances he sets in the suite are based on popular dances, including that French dance classic, the can-can. La belle eccentrique is really a work whose humor lies close to the surface. It has little to offer in the way of subtlety compared to some of Satie’s later works, what with its crashing ragtime and cancan rhythms, stumbling waltzes, and grotesque, bombastic music-hall timbres.

Music Heard On This Episode

Erik Satie: La belle excentrique: Can-Can Grand Mondain
Pascal Rogé & Jean-Phillipe Collard, pianos — Satie and the 4-Handed Piano (Decca, 2000)
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album cover
Erik Satie: La belle excentrique: Can-Can Grand Mondain
Pascal Rogé & Jean-Phillipe Collard, pianos — Satie and the 4-Handed Piano (Decca, 2000)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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