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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55175
Recording details: January 1989
St Barnabas's Church, North Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tim Handley
Release date: June 1989
Total duration: 3 minutes 15 seconds

Gymnopédie No 1
composer

Gymnopédie No 1  [3'15]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
When Satie died at the age of fifty-nine, his liver rotten with cirrhosis after a lifetime’s devotion to cognac and absinthe, he bequeathed a strange legacy. It included the Trois Gymnopédies, once considered eccentric but now so tamed and domesticated that they are used as incidental music for TV commercials. They were written when he was only twenty-two and take their name from the adjective ‘gymnopaedic’ which refers to the dances and exercises ritually performed by naked boys at public festivals in ancient Greece. Hypnotic, haunting, they pursue their measured way over a misty bass and, without travelling very far, create an illusion of steady movement forward. There is a parallel in French art of the time with Puvis de Chavannes, a painter whose clear lines, unforgiving simplicity and statuesque groupings find an echo in the purity of the Gymnopédies.

from notes by James Harding © 1989

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