This is the first modern edition, and reconstruction, of a flute concerto by Vivaldi discovered in April 2010 and a hypothetical completion of a known work by him (RV 431) that is closely related to it. The new work, which has the exotic title 'Il Gran Mogol', came to light among the family papers of the Marquesses of Lothian (the Kerrs of Newbattle), owned by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh; its existence was known previously only from a mention of it in the sale catalogue of the Dutch bookseller and musician Nicolaas Selhof at The Hague (1759). The related work, the ostensibly 'incomplete' flute concerto in E minor, RV 431, is a revised version of 'Il Gran Mogol', but it lacks a slow movement in its only source (an autograph score in the volume Giordano 31 at Turin). Evidence suggests that the 'missing' slow movement of RV 431 would have been a transposed version, adjusted from G minor to A minor, of the central 'Larghetto' from 'Il Gran Mogol'. Accordingly, the edition presents the 'Larghetto' in this key as a suitable slow movement for RV 431, affording groups the opportunity to perform the work complete. A second violin part for 'Il Gran Mogol' is also missing in the only source; it has been reconstructed with the aid of the RV 431 score.
In addition to shedding light on the 'incompleteness' of RV 431, the newly-discovered work draws attention to one of the contexts in which Vivaldi's concertos for solo transverse flute were created: the 'amateur' market, for which the composer readily supplied manuscript copies of his works in the 1730s. Alongside three other flute concertos in the same collection in Edinburgh, 'Il Gran Mogol' was probably collected by Lord Robert Kerr (?c.1719-1746), a flute-playing member of Kerr family, who died on the battlefield fighting the Jacobites at Culloden.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Andrew Woolley, Edition HH have wasted no time in publishing this 'new' concerto in D minor for flute and strings RV431a, 'Il Gran Mogul', in a beautifully clear and informative edition which also contains a hypothetical completion of a related flute concerto fragment in E minor (RV431) - thus giving the traverso player the option to play much of the same material in an easier key, if desired. ... in the hands of an enterprising and virtuosic performer, both of these pieces will surely come to life.
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