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Socrate; Cheap Imitation

By Helling

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By Helling, Henck, and Richards. By Erik Satie (1866-1925) and John Cage (1912-1992). Listening CD. Wergo #WER 61862. Published by Wergo (NX.WER-61862).

Item Number: NX.WER-61862

"The aestetic of this work is dedicated to clarity; simplicity accompanies, directs it. That is all. I wanted nothing more." This is the way Satie concluded a short text on his "Socrate", with which he presented the work he had finished in 1918 to the public.

The text to this "symphonic drama" was compiled from three dialogues of Plato by Satie (Symposium, Phaedrus and Phaedo) which in some way represented Socrates' person and character biographically.

The reproduction of the four male roles by one female voice suited Satie's aestetic purposes, because it helped to clearly limit the distance between text and listener, between past and present.

The booklet of the CD is supplied with the complete texts of the three parts in French, German and English.

John Cage, who has been propagating Satie's music his life long and who has repeatedly referred to Satie in his own work, created his "Cheap Imitation" in 1969.

He subjected the entire score of "Socrate" to a type of metamorphosis with the aid of chance processes which had become characteristic for his compositions since the early 50s. The result was an almost completely one-voice composition, which in a certain way underlined Satie's striving for transparency, unadornment and clarity.

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