Satie began the series of Gnossiennes
, the title inspired by classical Greece and the palace of Knossos in Crete – or it might have been coined from the word gnostique which Satie had come across in his mystical studies of Rosicrucianism. Here he indulged his notorious habit of adding incongruous verbal instructions to the player. ‘Interrogate’, runs one of his injunctions. ‘Without pity’, says another. At one point he sternly advises: ‘Equip yourself with clear-sightedness’. The Gnossiennes
are innocent of bar lines and time signatures, and the music falls naturally into place without them. They are, like the composer himself, elusive, withdrawn, enigmatic.
from notes by James Harding © 1989
1.Audio tour Barcelona 1900: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Antenna Audio Production