On 11 April 2014, Laurent Estoppey gave the world première of MERCURIO (Monologhi brevi ed energici in memoria di Fausto Romitelli) for soprano saxophone. The performance took place at the University of North Carolina Wimington, in Wilmington, NC, US.
The work was written in 2013 and is dedicated to my friend, the US-based Swiss genius Laurent Estoppey. When I say “genius” I really mean it in the most widely accepted connotation of the word for Laurent is one of those complete musicians whose artistry allows them to surmount all the imaginable–and unimaginable–obstacles and limitations of the materia artis and invention. MERCURIO was conceived as exactly such a challenge, pushing one’s interpretive and technical abilities to their limits. In a sense, the work is a cycle of etudes: each of the five movements poses a different question and demands a different answer from the soloist, triggered in the first movement by the relentless forward drive; in the second, by the unsettled rhythms, intervals and ornamentation; in the third, by the interaction between phrasing and articulation; in the fourth, by the “liquid” texture and “improvisatory” character of the narrative; and in the fifth, by the need to maintain tension while ceaselessly building up the momentum. I hope that the piece is worthy of Laurent, as it is a tribute to his superb intellect and superior technical ability.
Related links: Laurent Estoppey