chapter  11
28 Pages

Vivaldi’s Concertos for Flautino

In 1968 David Lasocki reviewed Vivaldi's works for recorder, using for the purpose only modern editions, and contested Dale Higbee's conclusion by insisting that the flautino was a sopranino recorder playing, like the piccolo, an octave higher than the notated sounds. In Vivaldi's flautino concertos the extreme virtuosity of the solo parts in the quick movements is tempered by the melancholy, affecting lyricism of the slow movements. Vivaldi lavished great creative energy on these concertos for a miniature instrument, steering clear of compositional routine to the extent of renouncing self-borrowing and any recourse to prefabricated melodic models. The music composed on Italian soil for small 'flutes', exiguous though it is, shows consistency in its preference for the term 'flautino', used invariably with the meaning of 'small recorder'. Vivaldi's separately preserved aria 'Di due rai languire', whose provenance is unknown, features the only known use of the term 'flasolet' in Italian music from the first half of the eighteenth century.