chapter  3
4 Pages

The Recorder and Flute in Venice: the Role of Amateur Players

Even if the playing of the recorder, the flute and the oboe by the same persons makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to identify virtuosos of the first two instruments who were active during the opening decades of the eighteenth century, the existence of a large solo literature for the recorder provides irrefutable evidence of the great favour in which it was held. Not only the recorder, but before long also the transverse flute, became a staple element in the musical training imparted to the scions of noble Venetian families such as the Contarini, Grimani, Querini and Carminati clans. Both Alessandro Marcello and Benedetto Marcello were probably, amid their innumerable other interests, proficient players of the recorder, to judge from the interest that they showed in the instrument and by the perfect idiomatic sense that they display in their works written for it.