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date: 12 December 2019

Orazi, Giovanni Battista locked

  • Patrizio Barbieri

Extract

(b Amatrice, Rieti, Italy, 17??; d Amatrice, Italy, 16–17 March 1804). Italian amateur flutist, composer, and developer of the flute. Orazi served as an army lieutenant in Naples and Spain and on retirement returned to Amatrice, on the northern border of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1797 he published a short treatise illustrating his invention and fabrication of a new type of transverse flute; printed separately at the same time were two ‘enharmonic’ trios he wrote especially for this instrument, incorporating themes by other composers. His aim was to make the flute more competitive with the violin by extending its range down to g; increasing the upper range and facilitating emission of high notes; and enabling it to perform quarter-tones so that portamento effects could enhance its expressive potential.

The instrument was essentially a normal concert flute in D (‘flauto corista’) equipped with four closed-standing keys (E♭, F, G#, B♭). To it was added an extension partly bent back on itself for more convenient positioning of the keys, allowing one to play chromatically from ...

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