chapter  13
25 Pages

The Concertos with Multiple Soloists and Orchestra

Within the repertory of Vivaldi concertos written for large ensembles, whose make-up is both highly diverse and often original in conception – a repertory commonly known in Italian as 'concerti con molti istromenti' and in English sometimes as 'ensemble concertos' – ten works employ the recorder or the flute. Vivaldi himself added the instrumental colour of two transverse flutes and two oboes when he adapted his concerto for violin and cello Il Proteo, RV 544, for a Roman repertory. The transverse flute was viewed from the beginning as a 'noble' instrument with a soloistic, individualistic nature. Vivaldi, who had made acquaintance with some of the leading soloists of the elector's orchestra in Venice, judged the scoring and other requirements of these concertos perfectly. The composer, who in addition to copying various orchestral parts wrote out those of the principal violin and cello, enlisted the assistance of the copyist for most of the added instruments.