Éric Montalbetti -

Éric Montalbetti - "Éclair physionomique"

“Having invited his students to compose a painting from a circle and a line but disappointed with their sterile juxtapositions, Klee explained that the meeting of the circle and the line cannot possibly leave each figure unchanged: the circle will necessarily be distorted by the irruption of the line, which itself will break into a zig-zag. This is how Klee composes a face, in the striking light of a storm.

This Bauhaus lesson was for me the starting point of a sort of allegory of friendship. The score can be read as essentially bi-thematic – a circular (rather modal) figure, a little closed in on itself, opposed to very dynamic features of a more chromatic or even serial nature – to ultimately compose a richer and more complex figure. 

Indeed, the form tends to say something of the wealth produced by the meeting of the two beings, not fusional as in Vaste champ temporel à vivre joyeusement where it was a question of love, but always quite distinct, developed by their respective meetings and courses.

It is equally, as I think can be seen with Paul Klee, a self-portrait with a universal aim, and a metaphor of creative work, oscillating between the two sides of our being, contemplating and desiring, accepting and refusing, constructing and destroying, which undergoes and which acts, which sleeps and which lives: each caught between the desire for fullness, in the perfect form of the circle, and the need for action, the lively agitation in the brilliant line, at the risk of his own life. It is both the need for balance, and the need for contrast. The circle, self-centred, closed in on itself, needs to feel traversed by what the lines can bring to it, just as the line needs thickness, even resistance or contradiction from the circles, to also find, in the end, its own fulfilment.

The piece is dedicated to Mr. Marc Monnet.”

Eric Montalbetti

This is what they’re saying in the press:

“Excellent performance by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra for the premiere of Eclair physionomique, fantaisie symphonique après Paul Klee by Eric Montalbetti (b. 1968), a shimmering score of colours with flashes inherited from Messiaen and Dutilleux.”

(Bruno Serrou, La Croix 30/03/2018)

Éric Montalbetti - Éclair physionomique
Fantaisie symphonique, après Paul Klee
World premiere: March 24, 2018
Auditorium Rainier III, Monte-Carlo (Monaco) - Festival Printemps des Arts 
Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo
Kazuki Yamada, conductor

Swiss premiere: December 3, 2021
Tonhalle Zürich (Switzeland)
Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich
Pierre-André Valade, conductor
Plus d'informations...

Watch the report about Éclair physionomique on Monaco Info :


Article updated on the 22/05/2018