Antonio Vivaldi, violinist and composer, was born on March 4,
1678, in Venice, Italy and died on July 28,1741 in Vienna, Austria. He
was nicknamed “the red priest” because of his red hair and the fact that
he had been ordained as a priest at St. Mark’s Chapel in Venice in
1703. Because of poor health, he was excused from active service as a
priest in 1704.
Of the composers of the Baroque Period (1600-1750) in music, Vivaldi is most remembered for his concertos ‑ he wrote over 500! Most of his concertos were for the violin (The Four Seasons are but 4 of more than 230) but he also wrote concertos for other instruments, such as: viola (6), cello (27), mandolin (2), trumpet, oboe (17), bassoon (37) and, of course, the flute (16 - including 3 for Piccolo and 2 for Recorder).
Although for almost 200 years after
his death, Vivaldi’s music fell into virtual obscurity, his influence
on the solo concerto was widespread. His use of three movements (fast,
slow, fast) and ritornello form (a refrain, alternating with solo
episodes) was copied and developed by his successors.
Vivaldi only assigned opus numbers to his published works. In 1733, after Opus 12, he stated that he wasn’t going to publish any further because it interfered with the sale of his manuscripts (from which he received more money). The Il Pastor Fido, Op. 13 (The Faithful Shepherd) Flute Sonatas are considered spurious, constructed from parts of works by Vivaldi, in addition to Joseph Meck (1690-1758) and Giuseppe M. Alberti (1685-1751). The Alberti Bass pattern, used by Vivaldi and other Baroque and Classical composers is named for Domenico Alberti (1710-1740, no relation to Giuseppe), who was the first composer to employ it.
Despite the fact that there are only 12 opus numbers, Vivaldi published more that 100 works, in that each opus contains multiple works, usually 12. Opus 10 is a collection of 6 Flute Concertos published in 1729-30 in Amsterdam - the first flute concertos ever published.
In addition to Vivaldi’s assigned opus numbers, there are several methods of identifying or cataloguing his music. In conjunction with the Italian music publisher Ricordi’s publishing of a complete edition of Vivaldi’s music in 1947, Antonio Fanna organized the works into 16 volumes by instrumentation - the 6th volume (Fanna VI) contains 16 Flute Concertos - including 2 for Recorder and 3 for Piccolo (Flautino). A 17th Concerto (Fanna VI, No. 17) is now considered doubtful.
French musicologist Marc Pincherle (1888-1974) published an extensive biography of Vivaldi the following year (1948, Vivaldi: Genius of the Baroque), and a numbered list of works (P. numbers).
A more complete list was published in 1974 by Peter Ryom: Verzeichnis der Werke Antonio Vivaldis (A Catalogue of the Works of Antonio Vivaldi) which assigns each piece an RV (for Ryom Verzeichnis) number.
Many of the Opus 10 Concertos were also given descriptive titles and/or nicknames:
Op. 10, No. 1 (F. VI, No. 12; P. 261; RV 433) Concerto in F Major
La Tempesta Di Mare (Storm At Sea)
Op. 10, No. 2 (F. VI, No. 13; P. 342; RV 439) Concerto in G Minor
La Notte (The Night)
Op. 10, No. 3 (F. VI, No. 14; P. 155; RV 428) Concerto in D Major
Il Cardellino (The Goldfinch)
Op. 10, No. 4 (F. VI, No. 15; P. 104; RV 435) Concerto in G Major
Op. 10, No. 5 (F. VI, No. 1; RV 434) Concerto in F Major
Con Sordino (With Mute)
Op. 10, No. 6 (F. VI, No. 16; P. 105; RV 437) Concerto in G Major
With the possible exception of Op. 10, No. 4, all of the concertos of Opus 10 are based on earlier versions of concertos; all are for flute and strings. Although harpsichord would have undoubtedly been included in performance (realizing the figured bass part), its use has been kept to a minimum - only when necessary to help maintain harmony or rhythm. Unlike modern concertos, the flute usually plays in the tutti sections; to distinguish, cues (of tutti) are printed as smaller notes.
Concerto in F Major (F. VI, No. 12; P. 261; RV 433) originally existed in two other versions: RV 98, a Chamber Concerto (a concerto for a small group of solos instruments without orchestra) for Flute, Oboe & Bassoon; and RV 570, a fuller version for Flute, Oboe & Bassoon, with Strings.
The name La Tempesta Di Mare (Storm At Sea) seems to have been popular with Vivaldi, in that he also used that name for one of the Opus 8 Concertos, the collection of 12 Violin Concertos which includes The Four Seasons.
As for the programmatic aspect of the music, the storm is presumably represented by the opening ritornello of the 1st Movement, with the 2nd Movement representing a momentary calm before the return of the activity in the 3rd Movement.
In the 3rd movement of this edition, to avoid the use of 32nd notes and, thus make the work appear less intimidating, all of the rhythmic values have been doubled and the meter changed from 3/8 to 3/4.
Solo Flute part - 9”X12” - 12 pages - $14.95
with CD - 4 smp files:
- 1st Movement (4/4, Allegro, quarter = 92);
- 2nd Movement (3/4, Largo, eighth = 72);
- 3rd Movement (3/4, Presto, dotted half = 64);
- Complete (All three movements)
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