Born in Rome in 1678 to a family of German extraction, Nicola Francesco Haym was employed (from 1694 to 1700) as a violone and cello player by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni in the orchestra led by Arcangelo Corelli. In the final years of this period the 2nd Duke of Bedford (Wriothesley Russell, 1680-1711) visited Rome and invited the violinist Nicola Cosimi to follow his entourage back to London. Cosimi in turn invited Haym to come with him as continuo cellist. Haym therefore moved to London in 1701 and would serve as the Duke of Bedford’s ‘master of chamber music’ until the patron’s death in 1711. A significant number of Haym’s compositions were produced during this first period in his life, among them diverse instrumental music for concerts at the ducal residences. That Haym’s sonatas for transverse flute (traverso) and basso continuo are the first ever known to be published by an Italian author inspired this recording and its exploration of the early-18th-century Italian flute repertoire. With their strong Corellian influence, Haym’s Sonate a Tre (Op.2) and his works in the 6 Sonate da camera a flauto traversa, haubois o violino solo can be securely ascribed to the Italian – specifically the Roman – musical scene, despite the composer’s living in London and the music’s publication in Amsterdam.
This recording presents all of Haym’s surviving instrumental works assigned specifically to be played on the flute. His Opus 2 Nos. 6–9 are for two violins or flauti (recorders) and continuo, and No.12 is specifically for two flauti and continuo. Of the 6 Sonate da Camera only the first four are by Haym. Since early-18th-century Italian repertoire for flute is inextricably tied up with that of the violin and its Corellian model, this recording also features an adaptation for flute of a Corelli violin sonata and a direct borrowing from the violin repertoire with extemporaneous adjustments by the performers in Corelli’s ‘Ciaccona’.
Born in Rome in 1678 into a family of German origins, Nicola Francesco Haym (1678-1729) was employed as a violone and cello player by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni in the orchestra led by Arcangelo Corelli. Later he moved to London where he took a leading role in establishing Italian opera which was beginning to flourish, while serving as a continuo cellist in the Drury Lane theatre and the Queen’s Theatre. In 1713, Haym started to work as librettist for Handel and the collaboration continued until 1728. During this period Haym acquired the role of secretary at the Royal Academy of Music.
Haym’s sonatas with flute are the first flute sonatas by an Italian composer to be published. The Sonate a Trè (Op.2) and the Sonate da camera a flauto traversa, haubois o violino solo, are strongly influenced by Corelli in the profound knowledge of counterpoint and the wide spectrum of expression of feelings and affects. From his familiarity with Corelli’s music, Haym was able to assimilate the gravity of style and nobility of expression while retaining his own musical personality.
Played by the Cappella Musicale Enrico Stuart, consisting of Chiara Strabioli (transverse flute and recorder), Romeo Ciuffa (recorder and transverse flute), Rebeca Ferri (cello) and Marco Vitale (harpsichord). Founded in 1998 the Capella Musicale Enrico Stuart specializes in 17th- and 18th- century repertoire in which wind instruments play a central role. They previously made for Brilliant Classics highly praised recordings of Boismortier and Valentini.
Recorded in August 2020 in Monte Compatri (Rome), Italy
Booklet in English contains liner notes by the soloist, Chiara Strabioli, along with biographies of her and the ensemble.