Manfredini, F :: Christmas Concerto

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  • Composer
    Manfredini, F
  • Instrumentation
    5 or More Flutes
  • Publisher
    Nourse Wind Publications [FC715NW]
  • Editor
    Nourse, N
  • Orchestration
    5 fl, 2 al fl, bs fl, opt ctrbs, opt ctral
  • Includes CD
    No
  • Classification
    Not Applicable
  • Genre
    Undefined
Qty:  
Christmas Concerto
Manfredini, F

Nourse Wind Publications presents 'Christmas Concerto: Concerto Grosso per il Santissimo Natale' for flute choir, arranged by Nancy Nourse. This piece is orchestrated for 2 solo flutes and solo alto flute, 3 accompanying C flutes, and bass flute (with contrabass flute), and alto flute (with contralto flute).

'From the craftsmanship of the Cremona violins of Stradivari to the trio sonatas and concerti grossi of Arcangelo Corelli, the Italians of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries saw the blossoming of a highly-developed instrumental ensemble with the homogeneous string family firmly established as its core.

Around 1684, in the midst of this artistic activity, Franceso Onofrio Manfredini was born in Pistoia, Italy. Following his first music lessons from his trombonist father, Manfredini departed for Bologna for further studies in counterpoint with Giacomo Perti and violin with Giuseppe Torelli. Before the turn of the century, Manfredini moved to Ferrara where he became the first violinist for the Church of the Holy Spirit. His first published work, a set of chamber sonatas, dates from his return to Bologna in 1704. His opus 3 concerti, which include this Christmas Concerto, are dedicated to Antoine I of Monaco for whom it is said that Manfredini served as kappelmeister from 1711. The later years of his life were spent back in Pistoia in the post of music director at St. Philip's Cathedral.

Manfredini's 'Concerto Grosso per il Santissimo Natale' was published in Bologna in 1718, nine years after Torelli's Christmas Concerto, and just six years after Corelli's celebrated work. As in both of these other compositions, there is a pastorale movement that uses the dotted siciliano rhythm pattern in 12/8 time, evoking images of the shepherds and the nativity. Also similar to these two other restrained, Bolognese-styled concerti, Manfredini's composition is neither showy nor technically demanding, but uses the soloist group as a dynamic and textural contrast to the full orchestral tutti.

This transcription for flute orchestra has been transposed up a perfect fourth in order to accommodate the instruments of the flute family. A tutti alto flute, as well as parts for contrabass and contralto flute, has been included and may be used at the discretion of the director. Despite the previous concepts flutists may have regarding the term concerto, this work requires a peaceful and blended ensemble tone as opposed to displays of soloistic virtuosity. Although it was a general performance practice of the baroque to ornament solo passages at will, Corelli insisted that his Christmas Concerto be realized as written, without any additional ornamentation. This preference would seem to apply equally to Manfredini's concerto so that the emotional intensity of continually dissonant suspensions would be preserved. As in the baroque bow sigh, an unequal pairing of eight notes and a pure, vibrato-less tone for the middle movement would seem appropriate. Care must be taken to avoid accelerating the tempo of this movement.'

- Nancy Nourse

  • Composer
    Manfredini, F
  • Instrumentation
    5 or More Flutes
  • Publisher
    Nourse Wind Publications [FC715NW]
  • Editor
    Nourse, N
  • Orchestration
    5 fl, 2 al fl, bs fl, opt ctrbs, opt ctral
  • Includes CD
    No
  • Classification
    Not Applicable
  • Genre
    Undefined
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