Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741) Concerto in C major RV 444
edited by Robert Paul Block and David Lasocki [Snino-rec(A-rec,fl,picc),str,bc]
Please also see another popular Solo Concerto Vivaldi, Concerto in A minor RV 445
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In the preface, the editor discusses his choice of the solo instrument at length, revealing why he unequivocally decided in favor of the sopranino recorder. Nevertheless, the highly virtuoso solo part can also be played by other recorders and flutes.
The present concerto in C major (RV 444) is one of three written by Vivaldi for the flautino, an instrument whose name has caused much controversy in recorder circles. In the opinion of the editor the instrument intended is the sopranino recorder, and arguments in its favour can be found in his article “Vivaldi and the Recorder” (Recorder and Music Magazine, March 1969, pp. 22–27; and American Recorder, Fall 1968, pp. 103–107). One of the principal reasons for the controversy is that the range of each of the leading contenders (recorder, piccolo, flageolet) is exceeded on at least a few occasions. In the present concerto this is true of mm. 11 to 79 of the first movement where the melody part includes a low E and a low C. Since this is a tutti section the recorder player can omit mm. 10f. (and correspondingly 78f.) or play them an octave higher than written. The notes below the compass of the sopranino recorder seem to be an oversight on the part of the composer. (In another flautino concerto he writes notes for the violin below its compass).
The manuscript score of the concerto is in the possession of the Biblioteca Nazionale in Turin, Italy, under the indication Giordano 31, f. 272r–281r. The title is Conto: P Flautino Del Vivaldi, and there is no further indication of instrumentation.
All editorial suggestions for slurs, accidentals and trills are shown in brackets.
Iowa City, Fall 1969