Tune of the Day: La notte
In 1728, when the publisher Le Cène ordered six concertos for transverse flute, Vivaldi went to no great trouble to supply them: he merely transcribed several existing recorder concertos. These jewels of his Opus 10 have been ever since amongst the composer's best-known works, and rightly so: the engaging chirping of the Goldfinch (“Il Gardellino”), the turbulent Storm at sea (“La tempesta di mare”), and most of all the unforgettable ghosts and nightmares of Night (“La notte”) are eloquent proof of his unequalled ability to conjure up an atmosphere in just a few bars.
“La notte” is unique among the Opus 10 concertos: in fact, it is the only one in a minor key, and the only one to have six movements, while all others just have three. Moreover, the second and fifth movements have descriptive titles, respectively “Fantasmi” (“Ghosts”) and “Il Sonno” (“Sleep”). Because of the challenges in the fast movements, this is probably the most difficult of the Opus 10 concertos, too.