– Sample Page-
The Goldfinch Concerto
– Sample Page-
- This piece is an example of a composer using an instrument to imitate a bird call. Composers have used bird calls, rather than bird songs, in their music. Bird calls are different from bird songs—they are simpler, more repetitive, and have less variation. Calls are used to signal danger, hunger, a food discovery, aggressiveness, to call groups together (called flocking), or to harass a predator. While both male and female birds engage in bird calls, bird songs—with more pitch and rhythm changes—are primarily done by the males who sing to attract female mates, and to defend territory.
- The European Goldfinch was Vivaldi’s inspiration for the flute’s bird call in this Concerto. A recording of a European Goldfinch can be found here.
- This concerto is one of Vivaldi’s most popular. All three movements call to mind the presence of the goldfinch by different means. In the first and last movements, the extensive imitation of bird-calls is used in the solo sections. The slower second movement uses a birdsong-like serenity in the flute melody.
- This concerto demonstrates Vivaldi’s perfect understanding of the flute. He wrote trills, leaps, rapid virtuosic passages, repeated notes, and dotted rhythms to evoke the warblings of a goldfinch.
- The concerto has 3 movements. The first is fast, the second slow and the third is fast. (The score lists it as Allegro, Cantabile, Allegro.)
- The first movement contains a solo flute passage which gives the soloist an opportunity to indulge his musical imagination.
- The second movement is AB form and is pastoral in character.
- The third movement is virtuosic in character.
- This video features soloist Julius Baker. Notice that there are wind instruments used in this performance.
- This video features soloist Sir James Galway, and I Solisti Veneti. It is a video of the performance, so students can see the instruments. It’s interesting to view the lute. This piece starts at 17:10