Quartetto for Flute Quartet by Roberto Ventimiglia
Instrumentation: 2 c flutes (flute 1 doubling piccolo), alto flute, bass flute
Score and parts
I. Grande Ripresa
II. Alla Baroccca
Finalist in the 2022 National Flute Assoc. Newly Published Music Competition for Flute Quartets
Quartetto came into being when Roberto Ventimiglia was working on some solo flute pieces with the flautist Andy Findon. Inspired by the colours and expressive possibilities of the flute Ventimiglia decided to breathe new life into some favourite sketches written over several years, and weave them into a new quartet, full of contrast, perfectly suited to the flute. The result is a fresh and exciting new addition to the repertoire featuring finely crafted melodies, enticing harmonies and playful counterpoint.
The opening movement, Grande Ripresa, has a rhapsodic feel, with its lyrical first theme reprised after other vibrant fast-moving sections. The four-part dialogue between the instruments helps to build the architecture of the Ripresa form, and makes for plenty of contrast, both in in texture and mood.
Alla Barocca has the feel of a slow baroque dance, requiring a careful grace and attention to the details of ornamentation and variation. Each instrument has its own time and space to sing the leading melody, and the sound of the whole ensemble is built step by step, slowly revealing the deep emotional character of the piece.
The final movement, Capriccio-Tarantella, opens and closes with a joyful tarantella, and features a more playful middle section where the first flute changes to the brighter colours of the piccolo, bringing the piece to a lively conclusion. It is also a homage to the Italian popular music style from which it takes its name, as well as having a flavour of medieval folk tunes.
Quartetto would make a gorgeous addition to a quartet recital for an advanced group, but would also work really well for larger forces, with plenty of interest in all parts, and striking a perfect balance between accessibility and innovation for an audience.