This recording gathers together some of Vivaldi’s finest and most famous virtuoso flute concertos. Prominent among them are two masterpieces of figurative music: La notte, which evokes the agony of a restless night, populated by ghosts, and then the soothing effect of deep sleep; and Il gardellino, in which the swirling flute mimics the cheerful song of the goldfinch.
Entrusting the soloist’s part to the pan flutes may seem, at first glance, a bold and unusual approach. However, there are both historical and aesthetic justifications. The panpipes originated from 17th century Europe, notably the Romanian nai, hardly far in place or time from Vivaldi’s Venice. And far from distorting his music, the panpipes lend a bright and warm matching colour to it.
It may also be remembered that recorder virtuosos such as Frans Brȗggen and Michaela Petri have long claimed this music for themselves and with sparkling results: what matters is the musicianship, and in Hanspeter Oggier the panpipes have a worthy champion. This Swiss-born student of the legendary ‘Syrinx’ (to be heard on DG albums of the 1980s) graduated from the conservatoire in Lucern in 2010, and has built a performing career for himself with particular emphasis on successful collaborations with Baroque bands such as Ensemble Fratres, which here is a one-per-part string group, though they expand to include works on the grandest scale including Haydn’s Creation.
Vivaldi flute concertos, played on…pan flute!
the pan flute in its present form originates from 17th century Rumania, mostly used as a folk music instrument. However the use of the pan flute in “classical” Baroque music is by no means an abomination. The improvisatory character, the organic way of tone production which is regulated by the intensity of the breath of the player suit Vivaldi’s music perfectly, his scores invite for passionate, declamatory and improvising music making!
This recording by pan flute player Hanspeter Oggier and his ensemble Fratres present a spectacular performance of some of the best loved flute concertos by Vivaldi, notably La Notte and Il Gardellino. Theatrical, dramatic, brimming with vitality, suspense and fun they shed a completely new light on these masterpieces!