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La Belle Excentrique

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Erik Satie

Erik Satie (arr. Keiichi Kurokawa)

General Info

Year: 1920 / 2009 / 2014
Duration: c. 7:10
Difficulty: IV-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Bravo Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00


1. Grande ritournelle – 1:50
2. Marche ‘Franco–Lunaire’ – 1:30
3. Valse du ‘Mystérieux baiser dans l’œil’ – 2:15
4. Cancan ‘Grand-mondain’ – 1:20

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1 (optional)

  • Piccolo (doubles Flute)

Part 2

  • Flute
  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet

Part 3

  • Oboe
  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet

Part 4

  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone

Part 5

  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone

Part 6

  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Clarinet
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone

Part 7

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone

Part 8 (optional)

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

French composer Erik Satie (1866-1925) is famous for his piano compositions such as Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes. Perhaps his most enduring work is Je te veux and similar music composed for cafe concert. Satie was a respected figure in the early 20th-century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to subsequent musical advances in minimalism, surrealism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd. He was highly respected by many major composers, including Ravel and Debussy.

La Belle Excentrique was written as a dance suite for small orchestra. It was conceived as a choreographic stage work and by modern standards can be considered a ballet. It premiered in June 1920 and the main dancer was called “La Belle Excentrique” even after the event was over. Satie later adapted it to four-hand piano duet.

Satie gave it the whimsical subtitle Fantaisie Serieuse (A Serious Fantasy) and it consists of four movements:

1. Grande ritournelle (Grand Ritornello) and three dances
2. Marche franco-lunaire (Franco-Lunar March)
3. Valse du mysterieux baiser dans l'oeil (Waltz of the Mysterious Kiss in the Eye)

4. Cancan Grand-Mondain (High-Society Cancan)

Ritornello is a recurring passage in Baroque music. Satie evidently intended it as a recurring interlude between dances to allow for costume change. But it also makes an effective introduction and is commonly performed as such, especially in recordings.

Satie relies on his unique harmony and chord progressions. It might be a little difficult to blend, balance, and match but still be confident in sound production and enjoy the eccentric colors. Close attention should be paid to not let accompaniment parts overpower melodies.

The original transcription was commissioned by Izumi Junior High School Band, Ome, Tokyo, in 2009. It was then rearranged to woodwind flexible ensemble in 2014.

- Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Symphony (Caroline Hand, conductor) - 9 March 2021

Works for Winds by This Composer

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