The Habanera Quartet plays ELEMENTUM by Vincent David

Le Quatuor Habanera joue ELEMENTUM de Vincent David
Commissioned by the Quartet in 2020, the piece was performed for the first time in its complete version in January 2023 in Washington as part of the Sax Symposium, then a second time in Paris in June 2023 as part of the Adolphe Sax Festival. The version played during the World Saxophone Congress in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria comes at the end of this period of maturation of the work, after several working sessions with the composer...

Carte blanche to Vincent David

Coming from the same generation of studies - give or take a few years - at the Paris Conservatory, their musical careers had regularly intersected for many years.

It was on the occasion of its 30th anniversary that the Habanera Quartet commissioned this piece from Vincent David, after having followed with great interest the evolution of his language as a composer: “The idea was that Vincent would compose with the spirit of freedom that is his while relying on the knowledge of the sound of the Quartet, of our playing identity. Without doubt the story of our bonds of friendship also shines through in this music." explains Gilles Tressos.

This composition based on the universal theme of the 4 natural elements (water, wind, earth, fire) echoes this search for four-person balance which has characterized the chamber music work of the quartet for 30 years.

The composer's words

Vincent David “The elements, water, earth, wind and fire are the source of inspiration for this saxophone quartet commissioned by the Habanera Quartet in 2020. These elements are represented by four movements. Source for water, Crystal for earth, Helium for wind, Igneous for fire.

The symbol of the title of the first movement, in reference to water, marks the main idea which is to develop music taking its source in the first gestures and moments from which the entire quartet will flow. This gesture, a quintuplet, structures the entire piece and is transformed according to the elements, as in helium where it appears tinged with breath.

Even if each movement develops an element, many motifs are found, develop and cross the entire piece like an organic structure which changes state, going from water to solidification, sublimation, then finally to fire. The musical continuity is symbolized from the opening by white noises which slip between the movements or elements ..."


Habanera Quartet
Vincent David
The Quartet’s 30th anniversary