B. Marcello, G. Ferrandini, G.B. Pescetti, A. Vivaldi, A. Bon, G.B. Platti
Venetian Sonatas of 16th Century
The earliest documentation of the presence in Italy of the “baroque transverse flute” dates to the beginning of the 18th century, while the “renaissance transverse flute” was widely used between the end of the 15th and the early 17th centuries (as is witnessed by the rich collection of flutes at the Accademia Filarmonica in Verona). The oratorio “La Resurrezione” by George Friedrich Händel, first performed in Rome in 1708, calls for an obbligato “Traversa”, hypothesized by some to have been played by Jacques-Martin Hotteterre “le Romain”, or, more probably, by a member of the orchestra who doubled on that instrument. In the first years of the century, in any case, the wind players of the principal orchestras were French, for it was they who invented the “late baroque manner of wind-playing”. This manner was then passed on to the Germans and Italians above all when, after the 1720s, the first works expressly composed for these instruments began to circulate outside of France. In 1724 Quantz traveled south to Italy. He had studied in Dresden with the first flutist of the orchestra, Pierre Gabriel Buffardin. The future teacher of Friedrich II of Prussia thus had the opportunity of visiting the most important cities and encountering the major musical personalities of the time. He was probably the first virtuoso on the transverse flute to be heard on the Italian peninsula! Strangely enough, from that time composers in Italy also began to dedicate specific works to this instrument. Vivaldi was undoubtedly interested in the new musical language of the “flauto traversiere", to such an extent that he dedicated numerous works to it, all characterized not only by a surprising agility but especially by an entirely new type of expressivity in the cantabile writing.