chapter  14
40 Pages

The Recorder and Flute in Vivaldi’s Vocal Music

Instruments of the flute family have always been regarded as among the least suitable for the celebration of the liturgy. The only Vivaldi cantata to contain a part for recorder or flute is All'ombra di sospetto, RV 678. It forms part of a large group of works for solo voice – nine cantatas, twenty-four operatic arias, two motets and a psalm – that the composer sent to Dresden shortly after the death of Augustus the Strong on 1 February 1733. The score that Vivaldi sent to Dresden was written out by his father. As normally occurred when father and son worked in tandem, Antonio looked over the finished score and here and there made supplementary annotations. In homage to the patron and to event, Vivaldi stamped strong French imprint on the serenata. More conspicuously than in any of his other works aping the French style, he made heavy use of dotted rhythms, of agrements, and of movement-types of French inspiration.