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Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. In these concertos, he is making another musical experiment, the first of its kind actually, by giving all the orchestral parts to the flute. Here, no continuo with cello or harpsichord. No strings either. The flutes constitute the entire ensemble, and this is a tour-de-force in music history, as I do not know of any other composers who tried that before or even after him.
The pattern of the concertos is usually the following. The five flutes start the concerto together, and then the two treble flutes start a dialogue, sometimes sustained by the bass flute. The two other flutes alto and tenor join the other players during the ritornellos and for the coda, usually finishing in unison.
The structure of the concertos is really interesting. They all follow the Vivaldi pattern in three movements. Three concertos 6 4 1 have a slow-fast-fast structure, while the three others 3 2 5 follow the standard fast-slow-fast Vivaldian structure.
Nevertheless, they show that Boismortier separated itself from the French musical traditions by following the more common concerto structure. Another specificity is how the flutes are divided in the ensemble. They are not separated into concertino and ripieno groups like the Corellian concerto grosso, but they are used to accompany one or two depending on the concerto treble flute which acts as the soloist.
The influence of Vivaldi is even more apparent, and the solo sections use the whole range of possibilities of the flute, showcasing the virtuosity of the player, which is also another aspect of Vivaldi's influence on Boismortier. Did Boismortier ever met Vivaldi? Probably not, but these concertos suggest the two would have made a great team.
Other that Boismortier, I don't know of any composer that wrote concertos for five unaccompanied flutes. The sonority created by five baroque flutes is very appealing, as they possess a sound that is liquid and cool.
Structurally, these concerti tend to feature two of the flutes as "soloists", while the others provide accompaniment, especially the fifth part that often acts as a bass line. Not especially French sounding, they tend more towards an Italian model with a fast-slow-fast pattern to most of them.
Admittedly, not all of the movements are equally inspired, some even bordering on tedium, but on the whole they are quite tuneful and engaging. The performance is excellent in every way. The players make a beautiful sound and blend together flawlessly, especially so in the unison passages where they sound as one.
The recorded sound is also very good, with a faily dry accoustic capturing it all vividly. Buy this disc and treat yourself to something different and lovely. Go to Amazon. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Price. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. DPReview Digital Photography.
More by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
Boismortier was one of the first composers to have no patrons: having obtained a royal licence for engraving music in , he made enormous sums of money by publishing his music for sale to the public. The Boismortier family moved from the composer's birthplace in Thionville in Lorraine to the town of Metz where he received his musical education from Joseph Valette de Montigny, a well-known composer of motets. The Boismortier family then followed Montigny and moved to Perpignan in where Boismortier found employment in the Royal Tobacco Control. Boismortier married Marie Valette, the daughter of a rich goldsmith and a relative of his teacher Montigny. In Boismortier and his wife moved to Paris where he began a prodigious composition career, writing for many instruments and voices.
Boismortier: 6 Concertos For Five Flutes / Concert Spirituel
In the history of music, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, who was born at Thionville on 23rd December and died at Roissy-en-Brie on 28th October , is exceptional in various ways. He was born into a modest family, with a father, a former soldier, who had settled in Thionville as a confectioner. In Boismortier left Lorraine for Perpignan and established himself there as collector for the Royal Tobacco Excise Office, a calling remote enough from any musical employment. He remained nearly ten years in this position and has left us no trace of any musical activity, or at least no tangible evidence. In leafing through the collections of serious and drinking songs published by Ballard at the beginning of the eighteenth century, we find, in October , a drinking-song by a certain "M. Composers do not write without preparation, so that he must have received, like his contemporaries, a solid technical foundation.
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier