Erik Satie ‘Je te veux’: Happy Reflections

Happy Monday, readers, whilst it has been some time since I have last posted a blog, it has been due to university becoming much more full on as I am trying to tie everything up. To make everyone feel good on this fairly sunny Monday afternoon, I thought there no more fitting piece than Satie’s Je te veux. An instantly recognisable tune, this twee piano waltz was originally for voice and piano, there is also a chamber orchestra setting of this melody, although it is now perhaps more well-known for the solo piano version. Translated into English, the title simply means ‘I Want You’. When composed by Satie, he wrote it for singer, Paulette Darty, who he had been an accompanist to for many years previous. There is much discrepancy as to when Satie composed this piece, but it was written between the years 1897-1902.

The piece is incredibly simple and in 3/4 which gives it the waltz-feel to the piece. The main melody is repeated throughout the piece (which is only about 4 minutes long) and this melody shadows the vocal line if that is a version you decide to listen to. Picture your all-time favourite place whilst you listen to this, it’ll become embedded in your positive thinking bank and will bring forward happy thoughts whenever you may need them. My mind is usually down in Poole, Dorset with my mum and dad when I hear this piece of music, we’re either painting pottery, eating chips on the wall or throwing stones in the sea at Lulworth Cove. This simple piece evokes such happy memories for me, and I hope it can do the same for you. The incredibly simple, but effective melodic line makes this piece the perfect sentimental waltz that can be appreciated in a wealth of different ways. I find this piece deviates from Satie’s usual melancholy sound, as this is more playful, although I do find it has an air of longing and perhaps of someone reminiscing about past romances.

This piece has been used in media in recent times, most notably the Cesar dog food advert (yes that is where you know it from!). I also think that Michael Giacchino (who wrote the music to the Disney film Up) must have taken some inspiration from Satie and works such as Je te veux while writing the Up soundtrack (if you have never seen this film or do not know the movie it is so worth the watch/listen! I will post a link at the bottom of this page). This work also reminds me of a film I used to watch when I was younger with my mum called Madeline, due to the ties with France and french art music. This piece is such a joy to listen to, happy listening!

 

 

Recommended Recordings:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbT9DeULzU4 – Piano Solo Version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvKmBgxC_s4 – Jessye Norman Vocal Version

Married Life – Michael Giacchino

 

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