“Inspired by Cage’s visionary spirit, “A Worldwide day of Vexations” unites a community of intrepid vibraphonists from around the globe in a complete, live streamed performance of Erik Satie’s epic work. Starting in Australia and ending on the West coast of the United States, segments of over 10 performances will be strung together on www.worldwidevexations.com to create one 18-hour performance in its entirety.”
So here are two MP3s giving the pronunciation of Satie’s name and Vexations:
Satie’s Vexations is an enigmatic short composition that was never published (and probably never performed) during Satie’s time. The score mentions 840 repetitions, although it might not be a performance note, just a curious comment or even a prank intended to ridicule lengthy Germanic classical pieces (think Wagner). The Wikiepdia entry is quite interesting.
There are many weird stories that one can learn about Erik Satie, but I strongly recommend reading his letters gathered by the director of the Erik Satie Foundation in Paris, Ornella Volta. Satie was a complex character—not the Dadaist caricature that is sometimes portrayed in the media—and he influenced generations of composers (including Maurice Ravel, John Cage, and Les Six). Besides the vary famous Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes, his output includes Mélodies, songs that sound like the Cabaret music he performed a lot during his youth in Montmartre. One of them is Allons-y Chochotte! (Let’s go sweetie!) which lyrics even feature a reference to the Rome Prize!
Allons-y, Chochotte – Erik Satie
If you are ever in Paris, make sure to walk by one of his apartments 6, rue Cortot or take a day trip to Honfleur, in Normandy, to visit the Maison Satie, a nice museum full of very interesting Satie paraphernalia…
This composer in our French Composers’ Names series was part of Les Six, this group of young Parisian composers that were probably brought together by Cocteau in the early 1920s, and whose aesthetics came in reaction to Wagner’s influence and impressionistic music: Francis Poulenc.
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
The only difficulty in this name is the pronunciation of the nasal in -en, which is usually pronounced as an ã, a nasal a as I like to refer to them, as in blanc, white. But no, here this nasal is pronounced with an i nasal, as in vin for wine. Combined with the unusually pronounced final c (a strong K sound), Poulenc will rhyme with cinq, French for 5 (weird for a member of Les Six !) Alright, here it is:
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