Satie’s Véxations receives its Russian premiere – just look where

Satie’s Véxations receives its Russian premiere – just look where


norman lebrecht

September 16, 2014

satie russia tchaikovsky

This is the monument to Tchaikovsky in Moscow, where students of the wonderful pianist and teacher Alexey Lyubimov have gathered to mark his 70th birthday in an original way.

They are playing the Russian premiere of Erik Satie’s Véxations, a work designed to be played 840 times in succession.

Lyubimov himself played the opening rounds. The pianist in the picture is Sergey Kasprov. Others await their turn.

Only another night and day to go until the premiere is complete.

The irony is not lost on passing Muscovites.


  • John Borstlap says:

    Satie’s ‘Vexations’ is a puerile joke. Why relate it to the memory of a great composer (the statue)? Or offer it as a birthday present to a pianist & teacher? It’s self-defeating. As a critique on Russian politics it is very feeble too.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Don’t agree John. As a critique on Russian politics- I cannot comment. But as a tribute to a unique artist such as Lubimov- Satie’s weird but wonderful creation seems very appropriate.

    I was one of many pianists in a Vexations Marathon at the 2014 Mayfield Festival. The guy before me decided to play it quite fast with varying articulations so to be different I determined to play it 16 times at the same very slow tempo. I thought Satie might laugh at a perspective closer to Wagner’s parsifal.