Rosso pompeiano was composed in 2010 for the 25th anniversary of the Ensemble Recherche. They requested a “love song” and I wanted them to be transported to another musical world, as love can do. The piece is the accurate transcription of a riotous and impertinent live performance of the "Rumba de scugnizze", an allegro whirling song describing a Neapolitan street market, where some scugnizzi, Neapolitan street urchins, make jokes and play with commoner women, selling or shopping. They steal kisses and caresses from the women in an exciting sensual vortex of smiles and winks. The sellers launch announcements concerning gamberi, scarola riccia, chiodi, santini, grattuggie, battipanni, pizza con le alici, peperoni e olive, among thousands of other handmade products.
The emerging voices of the seller and the street boy, are entrusted to clarinet and viola and have to render all the virtuoso nuances of the passionate popular voices. Cello, piano and percussion represent the rhythmical and noisy street environment.
Rosso pompeiano is the name of the ancient Roman red color, used in Pompei and Ercolano for the mural painting. It is an intense and attractive red, also called “Earth of Pozzuoli”, connected with the sensual and erotic Roman representations of the Neapolitan area.