Michel Blavet (1700-1768)
Program note written by Jacob Farmer
Approximate Performance Time:
Intermediate Advanced – appropriate for advanced high school students and college undergraduates
Jean-Pierre Rampal. Le Triomphes De Jean-Pierre Rampal. Rec. 5 May 2014. N.d. MP3.
Berryman, Brian Alaxander. “Michel Blavet’s Flute Concerto: An Edition and Commentary.” Order No. 9429885 Stanford University, 1994. Ann Arbor: ProQuest. Web. 1 Oct. 2016.
Michel Blavet was a French composer and flute virtuoso born in 1700. He played a vital role in the French music development in the mid 1700s. One of his primary composer idols was Georg Philipp Telemann, he was one of the original subscribers to Telemann’s Der getreue Music-Meister (a mailed music subscription). As a flutist and composer, Blavet was sought after by Frederick the Great to join his court orchestra but Blavet decided to continue composing and performing on his own accord. Blavet composed primarily for the flute so a lot of his works were actually exercises for his students. He also composed several sonatas and gave many of them character names that often referred to his mistresses.
Only one of Blavet’s concertos survived the test of time, Flute Concerto in A minor. This concerto was written around 1740 but not published later until 1956. The piece is a perfect example of les goûts réunis, the merging of Italian and French styles of music. The bookend movements of the piece are in an Italian style, similar to Vivaldi with his use of sequences. The slow movement is a set of two gavottes from the French style of a suite. The first gavotte is in minor and the second gavotte contrasts in a major key and tempo increase.