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Recorder concerto in F major RV 442

Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)

Concerto Copenhagen (photo credit: Thomas Nielsen)

Concerto Copenhagen (photo credit: Thomas Nielsen)

Composer
Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Composition Year
ca.1725
Work Movements
1. Allegro ma non molto
2. Largo cantabile
3. Allegro
Artists
Kate Hearne [recorder], Concerto Copenhagen (Peter Spissky, Fredrik From, Antina Hugosson [violins], Torbjörn Köhl [viola], Kate Hearne [cello], Mattias Frostenson [bass], Fredrik Bock [archlute, Guitar], Lars-Ulrik Mortensen [harpsichord, Director])

Programme Note Writer:
© Kate Hearne

Vivaldi’s recorder concertos hold a very dear place in the hearts of us recorder players. It is clear that his early flautino concertos and some of the later works written for the instrument are aimed towards a specific player of high virtuosic merit, while RV 442 falls into an intervening period when Vivaldi only had a player of modest capabilities at hand. That said, the beauty and atmospheric content of this work are magnificent, and its non-virtuosic nature could be put down to the fact that it is an operatic concerto, all of its content having come from, or being used later by Vivaldi in operatic arias. Vivaldi reworked the concerto for transverse flute and published it in Amsterdam as part of his Op.10 in 1728, but the recorder version, which exists only in manuscript form, came first, and can be dated to around 1725.

The first movement takes the form of a gentle pastorale, and is largely based on the aria Ti sento, sì, ti sento from La Costanza [1716]. He reuses this material over and over again later, both in operatic and other chamber works. The haunting siciliana, with its sparse, melancholic accompaniment bears testament to Vivaldi’s abilities as a melody writer, and appears in his 1724 opera, Il Tigrane. The concerto ends with a rustic, lively allegro, material from which is used in no less than three of Vivaldi’s later operatic works. Vivaldi often depicts idealised pastoral realms through the use of the recorder, and he reinforces this in RV 442 by instructing the strings to play con sordini, or muted, throughout. Vivaldi’s decision to include material from some of his best loved arias and theatrical works must have given a greatest hits feeling to his Venetian fans in the 18th century, but it is no less endearing today.

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Recorder concerto in F major RV 442

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Performance date: Thursday 3rd July 2014
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Work Title Recorder concerto in F major RV 442
Composition Year ca.1725
Work Movements 1. Allegro ma non molto
2. Largo cantabile
3. Allegro
Artist(s) Kate Hearne [recorder], Concerto Copenhagen (Peter Spissky, Fredrik From, Antina Hugosson [violins], Torbjörn Köhl [viola], Kate Hearne [cello], Mattias Frostenson [bass], Fredrik Bock [archlute, Guitar], Lars-Ulrik Mortensen [harpsichord, Director])
Performance Date Thursday 3rd July 2014
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:07:34
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTE
Instrumentation Category Small Mixed Ensemble
Instrumentation rec, 3vn, va, vc, db, lu, hpd
Programme Note Writer © Kate Hearne

Vivaldi’s recorder concertos hold a very dear place in the hearts of us recorder players. It is clear that his early flautino concertos and some of the later works written for the instrument are aimed towards a specific player of high virtuosic merit, while RV 442 falls into an intervening period when Vivaldi only had a player of modest capabilities at hand. That said, the beauty and atmospheric content of this work are magnificent, and its non-virtuosic nature could be put down to the fact that it is an operatic concerto, all of its content having come from, or being used later by Vivaldi in operatic arias. Vivaldi reworked the concerto for transverse flute and published it in Amsterdam as part of his Op.10 in 1728, but the recorder version, which exists only in manuscript form, came first, and can be dated to around 1725.

The first movement takes the form of a gentle pastorale, and is largely based on the aria Ti sento, sì, ti sento from La Costanza [1716]. He reuses this material over and over again later, both in operatic and other chamber works. The haunting siciliana, with its sparse, melancholic accompaniment bears testament to Vivaldi’s abilities as a melody writer, and appears in his 1724 opera, Il Tigrane. The concerto ends with a rustic, lively allegro, material from which is used in no less than three of Vivaldi’s later operatic works. Vivaldi often depicts idealised pastoral realms through the use of the recorder, and he reinforces this in RV 442 by instructing the strings to play con sordini, or muted, throughout. Vivaldi’s decision to include material from some of his best loved arias and theatrical works must have given a greatest hits feeling to his Venetian fans in the 18th century, but it is no less endearing today.