Flute Concerto

Antonio Vivaldi

Flute Concerto in G major

Op. 10/4, RV435

About this work

Before Michel-Charles Le Cene published Antonio Vivaldi's set of Concertos (6) for flute in 1728, there had never been a complete collection of flute concertos published in Italy, nor, aside from three works published in England the previous year, had there ever been any flute concertos published at all. Five of the six works are transcriptions of earlier works in Vivaldi's career, but the fourth, the Concerto in D major for flute, strings, and basso continuo, RV 435, was apparently entirely original (with Vivaldi, the possibility of a lost original can never be completely discounted).

The opening Allegro starts with a full-blown exposition by the ripieno strings in a strikingly original rhythm, then alternates with long-breathed lines. The central Largo is set in the tonic major alternating with the tonic minor and sweetly, almost wistfully lyrical. The closing Allegro is as bright and energetic a movement as the best Vivaldi wrote, with a muscular theme for the ripieno and virtuosic lines for the soloist. In all three movements, the Concerto in G major sounds as if the flutes were conceived originally for the flute's tone.