When I arrived at the French Army Principal Wind Band, I met clarinetists who, musicians in uniform, had also the wish to play in quartet, for pleasure, and created Les Désanchés. Then, they commissioned me a new piece, in 2010.
Hazards of life and inspiration (I’d prefer to call it «concentration») have delayed the act of composing through several years, as it is finally ended in March 2014!
Amusement around each musician’s trait, with an evocative title suggested by one of them, the piece is composed of several movements, played in the desired order:
La presque lente (for Aurélia) – translated word-by-word as «the nearly slow»
Saggio, ma non troppo (for Nicolas)
Fromage de chèvre à pattes molles (for Stéphane) – translated word-by-word as «cheese of a goat with soft legs», with a pun on «soft goat-cheese»…
Titi l’espiègle (for Thierry) – wordplay with Till Eulenspiegel, translated in French as «Till l’espiègle»; Titi is a nickname for Thierry…
Un quatuor (Finale) (conclusive movement…) – «One quartet»…
Since 2010, our paths separated – one left at the French Navy Wind Band in Toulon (South of France), others now giving their time to teach their instrument as they left army, the same way I left in 2013… But still, the wish to create this quartet piece together stays.