A Tribute to Eric Devallon

On Thursday, March 4th 2021, we commemorated the 5th anniversary of the death of Eric Devallon (1964-2016). Alberto Mielgo, a basque saxophonist, old student of Eric Devallon at Musikene (Donostia, Basque Cuntry, Spain), organized a tribute in which several saxophonists played a Mielgo’s arrangement of “Amorosa”, one of the “Ten Basque Melodies” for orchestra by Jesús Guridi.

Watch the video here:

Eric Devallon was one of those people who leave a deep mark at a both a personal and a musical level. We can see his influence not only in the amount of participants (a total of 49 saxophone players, who would surely be much more else) but also a great amount of colleagues and other saxophonists who followed his career as the baritonist of Diastema saxophone quartet and lots of students at music conservatoires as Musikene and CRR Bayonne (France) and courses around France and Spain.

First time I listened to Diastema saxophone quartet, at XI World Saxophone Congress in Valencia (Spain) in September 1997, I was impressed by the homogeneity of that quartet in terms of sonority and interpretation. Next, in Summer 1998, in a summer saxophone course with Christophe Bois in Amposta (Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain), I discovered two albums that were a revelation to me: “Saxophone Classics” (enjoy his playing in the wonderful 2nd movement of Beethoven’s quintet) and “French Saxophone Quartets” (his interpretation of the beginning of Pierné and Desenclos 2nd are simply top). In addition to reach “the perfection” in a saxophone quartet, the sound of Devallon was deeply engraved on my mind: its richness and homogeneity, the breadth of his treble and the density of his low registers, that precision of articulations and specially his performing energy. Thanks to him, I learnt for good the role of the baritone in a saxophone quartet.

Later, I had the chance to approach to Eric at the Rencontres Internationales autour du Saxophone Baryton held in Ambazac (France) between 2008 and 2011. From 2010, taking part of the organization of these events was a great gift for me, not only for the good moments we shared but also I because knew his most humane side: his great sense of humor, his very strong character and his sense of loyalty.

I always think of Eric every time I play “Trois Rêves en Musique”, a breathtaking work for baritone saxophone solo that José Luis Campana composed for him and who never was able to premiere due to his serious illness.

Merci beaucoup par tout, Eric. Ça a été un plaisir!

Share This New

Latest News

colours6 News

Does Contemporary Music scare anyone?

Last February 15th, I did a workshop about introduction to the interpretation of contemporary music at the Music Conservatory of Sabadell (near Barcelona) to students from the end of elementary and academy levels. Since we didn’t have much time, and this kind of workshop requires continuity, I focused respectively on a guided collective improvisation and the collective interpretation of a …

Read More
CONTEMPORANEUS 2023 News

CONTEMPO[R]AN[EUS] 20[23]

  A CONTEMPORARY MUSIC DAY IN REUS I had in mind for long to carry out an activity about contemporary music for all audiences. With the experience and complicity of my partner of adventures, composer and sound artist Joan Bagés i Rubí, we at last organized a day to give visibility to the music composed nowadays. As its name implies, …

Read More
FRONTCOVER News

SUITES. A tribute to Bach’s cello suites (ENG)

Cover design by Jesús Llungueras “SUITES. A tribute to Bach’s Cello Suites” is the result of a period of six years (2017-2023) taking this music to the stage. I thought that this recording would also be the best way to pay tribute to Johann-Sebastian Bach and his solo cello Suites. Although during my solo career I have been focused on …

Read More
foto 9 morphosis. jpg News

This Is Not A Fad!

Music should not always produce a calming effect on us. Sometimes, it must shake and provoke in order to activate our senses and mind. With this in mind, composer and sound artist Joan Bagés i Rubí and I created Morphosis Duo for a concert for the Associació Catalana de Compositors Actuals (Current Catalan Composers Association) in Barcelona in 2016. There, …

Read More