Product details

Albert Louis Frédéric Baptiste (1700-1775)
Concerto à 4 e-Moll
for flauto traverso, two violin and basso continuo
Edited by Antje Becker und Ondrej Bernovský
score (softcover, X + 22 pages) and parts
incl. VAT plus shipping costs 22,50 EUR

Albert Louis Frédéric Ba(p)tiste was born in Oettingen around 21 July 1700. His father, Johann, came from France and had worked as a dancer and violinist at the Opéra de Paris. According to tradition, the Protestant left his homeland in 1685 as a result of the Edict of Nantes, which was repealed by Louis XIV, in order to make a living abroad. Oettingen offered him a place to work, at least for a while. [...] Soon after the birth of Albert Louis Frédéric, the family moved to Darmstadt, [...] where Landgrave Ernst Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt (1667-1739) reigned, who himself played the lute and was in the process of building up one of the most renowned court chapels of the 18th century in the German-speaking world. Albert Louis Frédéric grew up in this artistically inspiring environment of his father, who taught him to dance and probably also to play the violin. In 1718 he embarked on a journey through Europe lasting several years: to France, Italy and England, but also to Spain, Denmark and Sweden. [...] In 1726 he returned to his homeland and took up a post as court musician and dancer in Kassel. [...] Twenty to thirty instrumentalists and singers provided musical entertainment at court, including Johann Adam Birkenstock, Fortunato Chelleri, and later Christian Samuel Barth and the opera composer Ignazio Fiorillo. Baptiste was apparently satisfied with his employment and the artistic environment of his work; he remained in Kassel until his death in 1775.

Like most of his colleagues, Albert Louis Frédéric Baptiste was not only active as a musician and dancer, but also as a composer. [...] Mention is made of solo sonatas for flute and violin, but also of more exotic instrumentation such as three sonatas for violin, cornetto, viola da gamba and basso continuo or 24 minuets for two violins, two horns and bass. E. L. Gerber also knows dozens of gamba works from Baptiste's pen. Only a few of these have survived.

Stylistically, Baptiste orientates himself in the present work above all on the contemporary compositional practice of Italy. This can be seen in the structure of the work with the movements Afectuoso, Allegro, Largo and Allegro as well as in the "melodic spirit", or: the idea of cantabilità, which characterises the shaping of the solo voice, especially in the slow movements. [...] The background to the composition of the work is obscure. A small 'bonus' may be the fact that Johann (es) Scherer (1696-1760), a member of the famous Scherer family of instrument makers in Butzbach and himself a composer for his instrument, was active as a wind player (oboe and flute) in the Kassel court orchestra from 1722. It is quite possible that the colleagues worked together here. In view of the technically demanding figures of the Concerto, this would be an indication of the virtuosity of this flutist, about whom little else is known, as an instrumentalist.

By the preface from Antje Becker und Ondrej Bernovský

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