Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (1866 – 1925), who signed his
name Erik Satie after 1884, was a French composer and
pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early
20th-century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a
precursor to later artistic movements such as
minimalism, Surrealism, repetitive music, and the
Theatre of the Absurd.
An eccentric, Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist"
in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous
compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred
to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who
measures sounds"), preferring this designation to that
of "musician", after having been called "a clumsy but
subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French
composers published in 1911.
The Cinq grimaces pour Le songe d'une nuit d'été (Five
Grimaces for A Midsummer Night's Dream) is a set of
incidental music pieces for orchestra by Erik Satie.
Composed in 1915 for a planned circus-style staging of
Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, it marked
the composer's first collaboration with author Jean
Cocteau. The production failed to materialize and
Satie's music went unperformed in his lifetime. His
score was published posthumously in 1929
These five miniatures ("Five affectations for "A
Midsummer Night's Dream") are all that remain of the
incidental music for Jean Cocteau's unrealized
production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's
Dream", planned for the Cirque Medrano in 1915. Edgar
Varèse had originally envisioned a collaborative French
score by Florent Schmitt, Ravel, Stravinsky, Satie and
himself, but only Satie's pieces were ever composed. No
2 is thought to be a musical portrait of Ravel and no 4
a portrait of Varèse. .
Although originally created for Solo Piano, I created
this Interpretation of the "Cinq grimaces pour Le songe
d'une nuit d'été" (Five Grimaces for A Midsummer
Night's Dream) for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola &