Tune of the Day: Largo
Although the RV 443 concerto is often listed as a work for piccolo, it can also be played by a recorder or flute. The instrument originally specified by Vivaldi was actually the flautino (a word that in Italian literally means “small flute”), a Baroque cousin of the recorder, but because the editor of the first published edition of this concerto assigned it to the piccolo, it was generally performed by that instrument. Today, however, the recorder appears to be the instrument of choice by the work's exponents.
The second movement of the Concerto, a lovely “Largo”, is drastically different from the two fast movements that frame it. It allows the piccolo a rare chance to explore its sound slowly and beautifully. Don't be deceived by the thirty-second notes: this piece must be played slowly and gently, paying careful attention to your tone quality.