Erik Satie: Diva de l'Empire (Jaroussky / Auvity / Scheen / Laurenceau / La Marca / Garcia / Ducros / Kadouch)
Philippe Jaroussky and friends perform Erik Satie's "La Diva de l'Empire" (arranged by Jérôme Ducros). Concert recorded live on 10 March 2019 at the Studio 104 at Radio France, in Paris.
Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor), Cyril Auvity (tenor), Céline Scheen (soprano), Geneviève Laurenceau (violin), Christian-Pierre La Marca (cello), Thibaut Garcia (guitar), Jérôme Ducros and David Kadouch (piano for 4 hands) perform La Diva de l'Empire by Erik Satie (arranged by Jérôme Ducros).
Composed in 1904, La Diva de l’Empire is one of \1's most popular songs, alongside Je te veux. It was written in the style of a cake-walk, a popular dance of Afro-American origin with a strong element of irony, popularised in Europe and in France through the music-hall: for example, \1 composed Golliwog’s cake-walk in 1908 for his suite Children’s corner.
At a time when Satie was still relatively unknown and living in great poverty, he was forced to compose, in his own words, "rudes saloperies" [uncouth rubbish] in order to earn a living. And yet, it cannot be said that his creative integrity was entirely abandoned when he composed La Diva de l’Empire, in which we can recognise a purity of style reminiscent of his Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes. A syncopated ragtime melody in G major appears, with a marching accompaniment and lyrics written by Numa Bles and Dominique Bonnaud. The title La Diva de l’Empire is a reference to a music-hall in London's Leicester Square called the "Empire", whose promenade was a popular meeting spot for dandies and high-class prostitutes.