Background[ edit ] Satie composed the Trois morceaux en forme de poire in Paris between August and November , during a period of creative crisis. He was unhappy earning a meager living writing cabaret music, and had abandoned his recent "serious" musical projects - the piano piece The Dreamy Fish and the orchestral tone poem The Angora Ox - as failures. Simply, my dear friend, because you cannot criticize my Pieces in the shape of a pear. If they are en forme de poire they cannot be shapeless.
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But in this latter instance at least, the title is not just the by-product of his quirkiness or seeming whimsicality. He chose it to both satirize Impressionism and its chief proponent, Claude Debussy , who supposedly had once advised Satie to pay greater heed to form.
The work, lasting about 12 minutes, is divided into two movements, the first serving as a sort of prologue and the second consisting of seven not three pieces. The three pieces in the title refers to the three sections of the first movement, spelled out by Satie in the full title as the beginning and extension , development, and reprise. It begins quietly and alludes to Impressionist sonorities before suddenly turning boisterous, then quite exotic in its colorful chirping sounds and other coloristic effects.
The spirited first piece of the second movement is playful and march-like and may have influenced the early piano works of Prokofiev. The second piece is playful and mischievous in its leisurely pacing and humorously intrusive chords, while the third is jaunty, but at times rowdy in its infectious gaiety. The ensuing item is subdued and stately by contrast, while the short, lively fifth is quite attractive, if somewhat thematically repetitive. The sixth frames subdued and often exotic music with brief prankish episodes that feature sudden, loud chords.
The last piece exudes several previously tasty flavors in its mixture of the exotic and carefree, of the march-like and gently playful.
3 Morceaux en forme de poire (Satie, Erik)
Morceaux (3) en forme de poire (3 pieces in the form of a pear), for piano, 4 hands or orchestra
Trois morceaux en forme de poire