Erik Satie: Mercure

Erik Satie Mercure
Mercure

Erik Satie: Mercure

Opus:
op. posth.
Year of composition:
1924
Scored for:
for orchestra
Composer:
Erik Satie
Instrumentation:
2 1 2 1 - 2 2 1 1 - perc(2), str
Instrumentation details:
piccolo
flute
oboe
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
trombone
tuba
percussion (2 players)
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
Scenery:
3 tableaux
Commission:
Comtesse Etienne de Beaumont
Duration:
30’
Dedication:
A Madame la Comtesse Etienne de Beaumont
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Satie's Aventures des Mercures was commissioned by the Comte Etienne de Beaumont for a series of avant-garde theatrical performances called Les Soirées de Paris, which were produced at the Teatre de la Cigale in 1924. The designs for Mercures were by Picasso and the choreography by Massine.

The first performance was a disaster and ended in uproar. Surrealists in the audience – enthusiasts of Picasso's work – were contemptuous of Satie's music, and their anger at Picasso's co-operation with him was vociferous.

I have re-orchestrated Mercures for two reasons. Firstly, I have always felt that Satie's own orchestration has ironed out the individuality and the quirkiness which distinguish the music and I wanted to restore those qualities. My second reason is the simple one which Stravinsky gave when asked why he re-orchestrated other men's work: 'Because I love music'.

Harrison Birtwistle

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Mercure

Erik Satie: Mercure

score
for orchestra , 30’
Instr.: 2 1 2 1 - 2 2 1 1 - perc(2), str

World première

Location:
Paris
Date:
15.06.1924

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