Monday, March 24, 2008

Erik Satie's Vexations

This post on Alex Ross's blog got me watching the YouTube video that he mentions, which is the appearance on I've Got a Secret by John Cale and Karl Schenzer. The year is 1963, and Cale has just performed part of Erik Satie's Vexations, a work in which three lines of music are repeated 840 times, lasting (in this case anyway) 18 hours and 40 minutes. Schenzer is the only audience member who sat through the entire performance.

I've been known to sit through some painful classical musical performances. (I am fond of my father's remark after I took him to see David Lang's The Passing Measures: "I felt like I was on some sort of extra-terrestrial slave ship crawling though space at a snail's pace with no end in sight.") But I'm not sure that I could have made it for 18 hours and 40 minutes.

No comments: