Gnossienne No. 1 (violin and piano)


Title; Gnossienne No. 1

Composer: Erik Satie, arr. David Gable

Instrumentation: Violin and Piano

Printout; 6 pages

Note: In this arrangement, the melodic line is carried by the violin and punctuated periodically by interjections in the right hand of the piano part. Scholars differ on the meaning of many of Satie’s enigmatic indications. Some possible interpretations for those in this Gnossienne are below:

Très luisant (very shining) – possibly indicating a bright timbre or a lightness of dynamic (the latter being contrary to the marking of forte, but this is Satie!)

Questionnez (questioning) – perhaps indicating hesitating rubato

Du bout de la pensée (in deep thought) – a reflective mood, perhaps light and feathery (again a contradiction to the forte)

Postulez en vous-même (apply self) – possibly intended to sound halting or labored, notes being delayed, etc.

Pas a pas (step by step) – pretty obviously indicating steady tempo with no rubato

Sur la langue (on the tongue or on the tip of the tongue) – presumably hesitating again, as if trying to come up with the right word (or note)


Other works by Erik Satie arranged for violin and piano are available: Gnossienne No. 2; Gnossienne No. 3; Gymnopédie No. 1; Gymnopédie No. 2; Gymnopédie No. 3.


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