Il Sorriso del Dubbio by Francis Ubertelli – 4 New Works

Il Sorriso del Dubbio (2019) by Francis Ubertelli

Il Sorriso del Dubbio is a contrasted comment on life, on aging, on seeing oneself growing enough to be able to contemplate the way in which existence undergoes the repetition of the days that pass, the weight of every day, one by one, heavy and light, the inescapable humor and lucidity of the end.

My children are capable of focusing their full attention on the retractable arm of a garbage truck passing by, its mechanical movement, the pouring of the garbage, the handover of the container, then following the truck until a repeated loud warning comes out from Mother. Their concentration is “untouchable,’’ free from all aporia. Yet, a doubt must surface one day, a doubt that is the fingerprint of a tarnished consciousness, the garish awareness of a witness to a crime. And the most fascinating aspect is that such a consciousness and the intricacies of its tarnishing are unknown to them, so far.

The smile (Il Sorriso) is a pleasant aspect of things that are, the poetical expression of a Latin sky, “the smile of trees and vine, a smile which bathes the ugliness of the most humble things and flowers the stones of old walls and conveys to sadness itself its radiant calm’’ — Romain Rolland, Jean-Christophe, La nouvelle journée (1912).

The smile will surface when an accumulation of transformed elements (not developed) becomes segmented in the second part, bar 154 and following, leading to two consecutive climactic episodes that show how deep the doubt’s treachery really is, as it attacks the purity of any intention. – F.Ubertelli

More About Francis Ubertelli

Blurs the lines between a more traditional approach to writing techniques and futuristic gestures of the avant-garde compositional process — to which end, traditional materials subtly invoke eras of standard Classical repertoire, often “nested within a single gesture enhanced in a large-scale periodicity, yet which never rely on the cultural conventions built up around these materials.” Pitches present themselves in a hierarchy of importance, expressly giving precedence to the gesture — being “that philosophical object passing by, through which the light

of a form intuitively shines.”

Born in 1968 in Quebec City, Canada, Francis Ubertelli began studying composition under Armando Santiago at the Quebec Conservatory. He later studied under Franco Donatoni and Azio Corghi at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, taking classes with Ennio Morricone and Luciano Berio. He graduated in 1996.

A few years later, following the death of his mentor, plagued by a profound aesthetic crisis combined with an extended nervous exhaustion, he quit music. That year, he met the shadow of the divine during a game of chess, which redirected his path in life. In 2011, he published his first novel in France, an essay comparing ongoing social changes with the 9/11 attacks, which he witnessed.

In 2015, after some years spent as a teacher, he returned to music following the birth of his son and a chance encounter with an old acquaintance. He is currently writing his dissertation as part of his doctoral studies at the University of Toronto.
Francis has written numerous works for chamber ensemble and received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Monte dei Paschi di Siena in Italy. His music is played in Canada, the United States, Europe and South America.

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