This acclaimed recording of Erik Satie's symphonic drama Socrate is performed by Music Projects London, and was originally released on Factory Classical. Completed in the spring of 1918, Socrate is a typically eccentric piece from avant-garde composer Erik Satie. Written in three movements for voice (four sopranos) and small orchestra (or piano), the text is extracted from three Platonic dialogues and depicts the last days of the Greek philosopher Socrates, condemned to death for corrupting the young men of Athens. The subtitle 'symphonic drama' belies the understatement and economy of Socrate, which Satie aimed to make "white and pure like antiquity". To this end, Satie claimed that he ate only white foods.
Socrate itself lasts for 30 minutes, and is augmented by five short song cycles written by Satie between 1886 and 1923: Trois Melodies (1886), Trois Autres Melodies, Trois Melodies (1916), Quatres Petite Melodies (all 1920) and the absurdist Ludions ('bottle imps') from 1923, the latter with lyrics by poet Léon-Paul Fargue.
The 61 minute recording was made at All Saints Church, Petersham, in 1989. Sopranos Susan Bickley, Eileen Hulse and Patricia Rosario perform with pianist Robin Bowman and conductor Richard Bernas. This edition features revised artwork and liner notes, including full texts of Socrate and all 18 Melodies in both French and English.