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Erik Satie
TROIS GNOSSIENNES for orchestra
Goodmusic Concert Classics GMCL211

Catalogue Number: GMCL211

Difficulty level: E What's this?

ISMN: 9790222312845

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Trois Gnossiennes  Pack image
Arranged for orchestra by Peter Lawson
Orchestration: Flute, Piccolo, Oboe, 2 Clarinets in Bb, 2 Bassoons, 2 Horns in F, 2 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion (2 players: Tam-Tam, Tambourine, Glockenspiel), Harp (or Keyboard)
Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)

Erik Satie composed his Trois Gnossiennes between 1890 and 1893. The word Gnossiennes was artificially invented by Satie. At that time, he was interested in Gnosticism, or the seeking of wisdom as a result of helping others. Others attribute the title to the Cretan word 'knossos' or 'gnossos'. The remains of the Palace of Knossos were first discovered in 1878 and there was much talk at the time of the connection to the myth of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur.
The Gnossiennes are dreamy, mysterious, harmonically modal and similar to each other in mood being rather 'Middle Eastern' in their melodic construction. They were originally written in free time, without time signature and bar lines, the idea presumably being to invite freedom of interpretation. For this orchestration, I have put in bar lines and time signatures, as it would clearly be confusing in rehearsal if there was no clarity for the conductor to indicate from where to stop and start! However, the bar lines should not be regarded as a constriction and I have indicated that each piece should be rather rubato in tempo. I have tried to reflect the relaxed, hypnotic mood and let solo instruments carry the melodic lines and tell the story.
Throughout, Satie gave typically quirky instructions to the pianist and I have reproduced these in the score above the relevant instrumentalist’s phrase, with a translation from the French…not a literal one in some cases. For instance, for 'Ouvrez la tete' (literally 'open your head'), I have altered the translation to 'open your mind', as this would be more likely to engender a slight difference in the way in which the performer interpreted the phrase, if only just! Peter Lawson

A PACK includes a full score and a complete set of orchestral parts including strings 4/4/3/4/2.
Duration 7½ minutes

Can also be performed featuring a soloist with the orchestra. Solo parts (and a piano accompaniment) are available for Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone in Eb or Bb, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone or Tuba published under the reference Goodmusic GM301.

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