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Satie: Cold Pieces

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: leave that score in the freezer...

Satie’s playfully absurd style is out in full force in this set piano works of 1897. At this point in his career, Satie was just about to abandon Bohemian Montmartre and take up residency in a quieter suburb of Paris, although in this move he abandoned few of his eccentricities. There is nothing particularly “cold” about either of these two movements. In all likelihood, Satie simply like the way the words sounded together or, perhaps, enjoyed the logical impossibility of music actually being “cold.” In “Crooked Dances,” Satie plays with a handful of motives, stitching them together with a sense of organization that has more in common with a crossword puzzle than with Beethoven. This movement’s languorous stasis contrasts with the first movement, entitled “Airs à faire fuir,” or, “Music to Make You Run Away.”

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