Boomkat Product Review:
Erik Satie’s masterpiece ‘Socrate’ is here performed by Olalla Alemán (soprano) and Guy Vandromme (piano) for Edition Wandelweiser, one century after it was first published.
Commissioned by Princess Edmond de Polignac in October 1916, heiress of the Singer sewing machine fortune and a notable patron of the arts, “Socrate’ is written for voice and piano, and consists of excerpts of Victor Cousin’s translation of Plato’s dialogues, all texts referring to Socrates. The Princess, who was openly gay, specified that female voices should be used for texts that were originally written and supposed to have been spoken by men.
Satie presents ’Socrate’ as a symphonic drama in three parts, with his signature sense of refined minimalism serving to place attention on the emotion contained within the text. As such, the music is beautifully future-proofed, with its simple repetitive rhythms, parallel cadences and long ostinat still sounding uncannily fresh, modestly uncluttered, 100 years later.