Flute Concerto

Antonio Vivaldi

Flute Concerto in F major

Op. 10/1, RV433 • “La tempesta di mare (I)”

About this work

Antonio Vivaldi's set of Concertos (6) for flute published by Michel-Charles Le Cene in 1728 were the first collection of flute concertos published in Italy and nearly the first flute concertos ever published (English composer Robert Woodcock published three in 1727). Most are transcriptions of earlier works or new compositions modeled on earlier works. The first of the set is an adaptation of the Concerto in E flat major for violin, strings, and basso continuo, RV 253, from Op. 8 as the Concerto in F major for flute, strings, and basso continuo, RV 433. Called in both cases "La tempesta di mare," the work's opening Allegro has a characteristic thumping unison repeated-note theme with the flute soloist trading short lines in imitation with the orchestral violins in the outer sections and warbling maniacally above the ripieno in the central episodes. The opening closes on a big half cadence and then moves into the quiet central Largo, with the flute soloist becalmed in the eye of the storm and haunted by memories and ghosts. The closing Presto opens with a powerful unison theme with the flute soloist performing the first long lyrical lines of the work against the thrusting violins and basso continuo.