Niccolò Dôthel and the Flute Repertoire in Tuscany During The
Tuscany Musical Treasure Project's New Acquisitions.
Tuscany Musical Treasure Project's Flute Repertoire Acquisitions.
Within the limits of syntesis and of the ongoing research, we would like briefly to contribute to shed light upon the role that the Lorraines times of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and, particularly, the flutist Niccolò Dôthel had in the diffusion of the flute in Tuscany and elsewhere.
For a thorough study on this subject matter we recommend Marta Graziadei and Nikolaus Delius's work. Our intent here is to expound some historical and musical points which will be further developed in a specific chat-room on our website: www.tesorimusicalitoscani.org.
Brief Historical Notes on the Grand-ducal Chapel
In 1737, at the end of the Medici dynasty with the death of Gian Galeazzo and according to the new European structure deriving from the Polish war of succession (1733 - 1738), the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was allocated to Francesco Stefano of Lorraine.
Married to Mary Theresa of Habsburg, he ruled the Grand Duchy from Vienna until 1765 when he was succeeded by his second-born son, Peter Leopold.
It was during this time (1737 - 1765) that various musicians from France and Austria, such as Niccolò Dôthel, Charles Antoine Campion and Christian Joseph Lidarti, came to Tuscany.
At that time the Banda della Real Guardia Palatina (The Royal Palatine Guard Band), also called of the Square for its performances in the square outside Pitti Palace, had an intense activity and most of its members played the winds in the Grand-ducal Chapel.
As a matter of fact, if the interest for strings was central in the previous century (for instance the famous "Medicean Quintette" commissioned by Prince Ferdinand to Antonio Stradivari in 1690), during the Lorraines times the use of winds at the Grand-ducal court rose. From the registers of "Musica della Regia Camera e Cappella" of 1768 we can see that this was its composition:
Carlo Antonio Campion Maestro di Cappella
[7 "professori di canto"]
Pietro Nardini Primo violino
[3 violini, violoncello e contrabbasso]
Anna Wettel suonatrice di arpa doppia
Niccola D'Hottel Suonatore di flauto
Giovanni Bluncker suonatore di corno da caccia
Antonio Domenichini suonatore di oboe
With the accession of Ferdinand III in 1790, the music chapel at court is further
enriched. In 1792, as recorded in the "Ruolo degli aggregati" (Members'
Register), what we can now define a complete orchestra consists permanently
of strings (with Nardini as first violinist) as well as of a flute (Dôthel),
two oboes, two horns, two clarinets and a bassoon.
From the second half of the XVIII century until the first decades of the following century, the use of winds in the Florentine area began progressively to rise, thanks to the evolution brought about by the grand-ducal chapel.
After all, what has been said so far is backed up by the presence, in every single source examined by us, of scores for variable winds orchestra (with or without strings) which are evidence of an intense musical life in various parts of Tuscany, above all amongst amateurs.
The didactic work of the chapel's members and the social importance of music at the time contributed to the diffusion of the refined taste for the Hausmusik which permeates the scores examined by us. The variety and quality of this music lead us to believe that the same "professionals" from the chapel would integrate with good amateurs in concerts and academies as plentifully reported in the chronicles of that time.
From the Tuscan Gazette, no.25, 1771:
( ) Nelle adunanze di letteratura e di musica che saranno tenute dai Sigg. Ingegnosofi potranno intervenirvi le persone civili come ciascun letterato e dilettante di musica senza biglietto, o nomina ( ). (civilians as well as literary men and music amateurs, without a ticket or title, will be able to join in the literary and music meetings held by Mr. Ingegnosofi )
Niccolò Dôthel, "Florentine" Flutist
A thorough examination of the music life in Florence shows the constant presence of the flute in chamber and solo music in the Lorraines times and it is definitely referable to Niccolò Dôthel (Luneville 1721 - Florence 1810)
From the Tuscan Gazette:
24.08.1770 : ( ) Martedì sera diede [il marchese Santini] nel suo giardino per trattenere diversi personaggi che qui si trovano, una sontuosa accademia di suono e di canto, in cui si fecero distinguere dagli altri il Sig. Manzuoli, e il Sig. Paolo Bonaveri tenore, come pur per il suono il Sig. Nardini, Dôthel e Domenichini. (Tuesday evening [the marquis Santini] held in his garden for his guests a sumptuous academy of music and singing, where Mr Manzuoli and Mr Paolo Bonaveri, tenor, as well as Mr Nardini, Dôthel and Domenichini, for the music, distinguished themselves.
26.10.1771: ( ) al secondo atto di queste [commedie] si eseguiscono diversi armoniosi concerti, che a vicenda vengono suonati ora dal Sig. Dotel a flauto traversiere, ora dal Sig. Pazzaglia al cimbalo come pure coll'oboe dal Sig. Domenichini e col violoncello dal Sig. Piantanida. ( at the second act of these [comedies] various harmonious concerts perform. In turn, they are performed by Mr Dotel, flute, Mr. Pazzaglia, cymbal, as well as by Mr. Domenichini with the oboe and Mr. Piantanida with the cello.)
) Dothel suona in una accademia dei Monaci Benedettini insieme
a Giovan Battista Franchi con la viola d'amore Giuseppe Codacci col Violino.
(Dotel plays in a Benedictine Monks' academy together with Giovan Battista Franchi
with the viola d'amore , Giuseppe Codacci with the Violin)
As already said Dôthel came to Tuscany to join the Lorraines court around 1739, together with Charles Antoine Campion (later Campioni). His presence, as the only flutist at the Chapel and The Royal Theatre in Pergola Street, is recorded uninterruptedly from 1746 until 1807. Therefore a very long life and career (above all for the time), during which Dothel worked intensively as an ochestra-player, soloist, and teacher. Maybe a wealthy life too, considering that his fame for his undoubted virtuoso skills granted him a retribution similar to the one his fellow citizen and chapel maestro Campioni and the first violist Pietro Nardini had.
His name is often referred to together with Nardini and Campioni's names. The very first traces of his presence in Italy, in Lucca (1739 - 1740) for the music events related to the Santa Croce feast, and later his correspondence with Father Martini and various local chronicles, show a bond of friendship and mutual esteem between the three musicians. It is also likely that Dôthel went to Padua to join his two colleagues who, as it is documented, did an apprenticeship (1740-1746) with the great violinist Tartini.
Dôthel's work as a soloist is also documented by chronicles and by the eleven concerts for flute and orchestra which he wrote for himself, given the fact they were never sent to print.
As far as his teaching work is concerned, on the other hand, the solid presence in the vast catalogue a stampa (almost everything published in London, Paris and Amsterdam) of duets, trios with three flutes, and also of Studies for the flute in all tones and modes, gives us an idea of how much Dôthel dedicated himself to the teaching and spreading of the flute.
In the light of what said above, we don not think it is, therefore, far-fetched to believe that Dôthel's long career during the Lorraines times was at least fondamental in the spreading of the flute practice in Tuscany and it motivated various non-flutist composers, from Nardini to Campioni as well as other less known artists such as Lidarti and Giovanni Francesco Giuliani, to write for this instrument.
The Tuscan Musical Treasure Project is dealing with this kind of music by cataloguing it and by making it available through our website www.tesorimusicalitoscani.org.
Tesoti Musicali Toscani Project's Flute Repertoire Acquisitions.
From the examination of the scores collected so far it is obvious that the context within which they were written is always almost the intimate one of chamber music where the flute is inserted in Serenades, Nocturnes, to be performed by a small number of staff. Plenty are the trio-sonata genres with another flute or with violin and bass, and the trio and quartette with strings. Amongst the scores with strings it is worth mentioning the presence of the Viola d'amore, probably "imported" from Austria.
We consider particularly interesting the two flutes and cello trios, the concerts for flute and orchestra and the rare example of sonatas for flute and obbligato Harpsichord by Lidarti, the only one in its genre by an Italian composer together with Sarti's and Felici's ones.
Below is a provisional list of the scores for flute acquired by the Tuscan Musical Treasure Project, which, unpublished in any modern edition or facsimile, come from:
Fondo Musicale Venturi Montecatini Terme public library
Fondo antico, Paganini Conservatoire library, Genoa
Fondo Rospigliosi, Pistoia.
Christian Joseph Lidarti
(Vienna 1730 - Pisa 1793)
Academic philharmonic, mentioned by Charles Burney, member of the Cappella dei Cavalieri di Santo Stefano in Pisa.
6 notturni 2 fl/2 cor/ fg
6 quintetti 2fl/2vl/b
6 quintetti 2fl/vl/vla/b
6 quintetti 2fl/2vla/fg
4 quartetti 3fl/b
6 sonate 2fl/ e bc
6 trii 3fl/vc
6 trii 2fl/vc
6 sonate fl/ cemb. Obbligato
6 divertimenti 2fl
6 duetti 2fg/fl
(Leghorn 1722 - Florence 1793)
Tartini's last pupil, he was Cambini and Giovanni Francesco Giuliani's maestro.
2 concerti fl/2vl/vla/b
6 sonate 2fl/ bc
2 sonate 2fl/b
6 trii 2fl/vc
1 sonata fl/2vl
2 sonate fl/b
6 duetti 2fl
Giovanni Francesco Giuliani
(Leghorn 1760 - Florence 1818)
Violinist harpist and director of various theatres in Florence.
1 notturno S/2fl/vla d'a/vc
3 quintetti fl/ob/vl/vla/vc
8 quartetti fl/ vla d'a/vla/vc
6 trii fl/vla d'a/vc
1 serenata concertata fl/2ob/2cor/2vla/vc/b
Giuseppe Maria Gioacchino Cambini
(Leghorn 1746 - Paris? 1818)
Violist pupil of e Padre Martini was a member of the Tuscan quartette together with Nardini, Boccherini and Manfredini.
18 trii 2fl/vc
Charles Antoine Campion
(Luneville 1720 - Florence 1788)
Chapel's maestro, first in Leghorn from 1752, then in Florence from 1760.
3 concerti fl/2cor/timp/2vl/vla/b
1 concerto 2fl/2cor/2vl/vla/b
8 sonate op 4 2fl/b
6 sonate op 5 2fl/vc
3 sonate fl/b
(Luneville 1721 - Florence 1810)
11 concerti fl/2vl/vla/b (2con 2cor)
Sonata da camera fl/b
6 sonate 2fl/b
2 sonate 3fl
4 sonate 3fl
6 quartetti fl/vl/vla/vc
6 sonate 2fl/vc
6 sonate fl/vl/vc
I would like to thank Marta Graziadei whose work on Dôthel has been an important source of information and also Luigi Lupo for his co-operation.print | back