Vivaldi: Concerto for flautino, strings & b.c. in C major (RV 444)

Concerto for flautino, strings & basso continuo in C major (RV 444) is the second of Vivaldi's three concertos for "flautino," a term that has been interpreted to mean different instruments. Most commonly it is now assumed that Vivaldi intended these for the Baroque equivalent of the smallest sized recorder, the sopranino, an F scale instrument, although he might have also intended them for the French flageolet, a G scale instrument. However, these concertos are usually performed on the sopranino or the piccolo. The Concerto in C major, RV 444, is not unlike the 12 concertos of his Il cimento dell'Armonia e dell'Invenzione, Op. 8, in both structure and character. The concerto features a virtuosic solo part, with thirty-second notes, trills, and arpeggios for the recorder throughout the piece. In each solo episode of the opening Allegro non molto movement, rhythmic mottos are repeated and developed to explore different harmonic possibilities, while testing the performer's ability to play both legato and détaché rapidly. The Largo in A minor is typical of Vivaldi's middle movement construction, using mottos to create an aria-like melody over a simple accompaniment. The brief, final Allegro molto begins with a bouncy orchestral statement that returns to re-establish the home key of C major in each ritornello. The soloist is again tested in the intervening episodes with trills and arpeggios. The understated virtuosity of the concerto adds to the appeal of its charming character to make it the most famous of the three flautino concertos.----Description by Patsy Morita

VIDEO: Héloïse Gaillard (sopranino recorder) David Plantier (violin I) Lorenzo Colitto (violin II) Patricia Gagnon (viola) Ophélie Gaillard (violoncello) Richard Myron (double bass) Laura Monica Pustilnik (archlute) Violaine Cochard (harpsichord) Amarillis / Héloïse Gaillard (conductor)

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