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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55176
Recording details: April 1989
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: October 1989
Total duration: 12 minutes 16 seconds

‘Admirers of Satie will not need a recommendation from me to seek out this well-filled and attractive issue’ (Gramophone)

'Stunningly played and recorded. This recording is not merely highly recommended, but essential' (Fanfare, USA)


Ouverture  [1'13]
La nuit  [1'08]
Bain des Grâces  [1'14]
Fuite de Mercure  [0'16]
Nouvelle danse  [0'40]
Le Chaos  [0'28]
Finale  [1'09]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Cocteau was Satie’s muse in his ballet, Les aventures de Mercure (1924), and Picasso and Massine played their respective parts. Mercure was written for the famous ‘Soirées de Paris’ organized by Étienne de Beaumont, and first given on 15 June 1924 at the Théâtre de la Cigale. The score is subtitled ‘three dimensional poses in three images’, and the ballet presents a dazzling array of classical figures engaged in various ‘poses’, and revealing unexpected aspects of themselves. We are walking around sculptures again as we hear in quick succession ‘Dance of the Graces’, ‘Flight of Mercury’, and ‘Anger of Cerberus’, amongst others, depicted in brassy, coarse, and café-concertish tones, beneath which always lurks a hint of loving tenderness.

from notes by Simon Wright © 1989

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