Gnossienne No. 3 (violin and piano)


Title: Gnossienne No. 3

Composer: Erik Satie, arr. David Gable

Instrumentation: Violin and Piano

Printout: 5 pages

Note: Satie is the only composer to use the word “gnossienne,” as it is a word he made up. His gnossiennes share certain characteristics: all are slow, short, meandering, and consist of an eccentric melody with a broadly syncopated  ostinato accompaniment. The prevalence of augmented seconds and diminished fifths in the melody give the third Gnossienne a singularly exotic quality that is enhanced in this arrangement by fragmentary reflections in the piano.  The performance indications of Gossienne No. 3 are particularly enigmatic, even for Satie:

Conseillez-vous soigneusement: consider carefully

Munissez-vous de clairvoyance: arm yourself with clairvoyance

Seul, pendant un instant: alone for an instant

De manière à obtenir un creux: so as to form a hollow

Très perdu: very lost

Portez cela plus loin: carry it further

Ouvrez la tête: open your head

Enfouissez le son: bury the sound

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


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