chapter  10
13 Pages

Vivaldi’s Recorder Concertos

The two isolated concertos for flauto – treble recorder – and strings that we possess from Antonio Vivaldi's pen may seem a marginal contribution to that instrument's repertory, especially when set against the rich harvest of twenty-two concertos written for transverse flute. The concerto RV 441 in C minor may be described without hesitation as the most profound, elaborate and inspired work ever written by Vivaldi for either the recorder or the flute. One of the most drastic and unusual modes of self-borrowing practiced by Vivaldi was to transplant the solo episodes of a given concerto into the spaces between new ritornellos that had nothing in common with the original ones. The uncertainty over the identity of the solo instrument – recorder or flute – was mentioned earlier Barring the rediscovery of the music, all that one at present has for guidance is the general usage of the catalogue as regards the description of works.