Erik Satie
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Verset laïque & semptueux

It was at the request of Charles Malherbe, librarian of the Paris Opera, that Satie composed Verset laïque & semptueux (Sumptous lay verse) on 5 August 1900 for inclusion in the collection of manuscripts entitled Musiciens contemporains to be presented at the Universal Exhibition of 1900.
While it was written at a time when Satie had decided once and for all to leave behind "kneeling music", the title nevertheless remains a trap for the unwary.
It is neither "lay" nor "sumptous", but a Verse that perfectly corresponds to the ascetic works of his early years, in the style of what might have been a last hommage to the "Parcier [he who shares in] and Maître de Chapelle" of the Église Métropolitaine d'Art.

Ornella Volta, May 1995

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Autograph manuscript at the Bibliotèque-Musée de l'Opéra de Paris, 1900 XIV (255).