A mortal combat for human (piano) and bug (oboe), to the memory of a night in a hotel bedroom beside Lake Como, 1983
Comic recital piece for oboe and piano
Duration ca 7 - 8 minutes
This piece was commissioned by Nicholas Daniel and Julius Drake, who performed it on BBC Radio Three's Concert Hall series in May 1985, at the Purcell Room and on tour around the UK as part of their acclaimed animal-inspired programme, The Menagerie, with readings variously given by Jeremy Nicholas, the late Arthur Lowe and others.
The oboe is the composer's second instrument. The oboe part is of approximately Grade 8 ABRSM difficulty but requires histrionics on stage. The piano part is demanding and the pianist is required to wield an (empty!) aerosol as well as a swat at various stages while sustaining the pedal
Edward Greenfield, The Guardian, 1984
The first of the new works and the one which established this as a fun concert [was] Francis Pott's Zanzare Fanfare, an essay in mosquito-swatting with the pianist as swatter, always just missing the oboist as the venomous insect, buzzing, darting, waltzing in defiance. It was a marvellous vehicle not just for dashing virtuosity but for witty timing from both the oboist and the pianist. After Mr. Pott it was impossible to take seriously the buzzings and dartings in Ferneyhough's Coloratura.
Ham and High, 1984
In Francis Pott's encounter with an Italian mosquito the whole range of timbres and textures of the oboe was brilliantly brought into play.