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Michel Blavet (March 13, 1700 – October 28, 1768) was a French composer and flute virtuoso. Although Blavet taught himself to play almost every instrument, he specialized in the bassoon and the flute which he held to the left, the opposite of how most flutists hold theirs today.

Quantz writes of Blavet: "His amiable disposition and engaging manner gives rise to a lasting friendship between us and I am much indebted to him for his numerous acts of kindness."


Born in Besançon as the son of wood turner Jean-Baptiste Blavet,[1] a profession which he followed for some time, he accidentally became the possessor of a flute and soon became the finest player in France. Blavet was famous for maintaining impeccable intonation, even when he played in difficult keys, and for the beauty of his tone.[2] Voltaire expressed his admiration for his playing and Marpurg spoke of him as a virtuoso of the highest excellence who preserved his innate modesty despite his unbroken popularity.

In 1726 he joined the Duke of Carignan and took part in the newly formed Concert Spirituel for the first time.[2] In 1728 he published his first book of flute music, containing six sonatas for two flutes without bass.[1] In 1721, he entered the service of the Count of Clermont and became his steward of music.[1] From 1731 to 1735, he performed at the Concert Spirituel with Jean-Marie Leclair, Jean-Pierre Guignon, Mondonville, Jean-Baptiste Senaillé, and Jacques Aubert.[1]

In 1738, Blavet became the principal flute in Louis XV's personal musical ensemble, the "Musique du Roi", and in 1740 at the Paris Opera orchestra.[1] He played in the quartet (flute – Blavet, violin – Guignon, viola da gamba – Forqueray the younger, cello – Édouard) that played the premiere performance of the Paris quartets by Telemann.[2] Blavet turned down a post in Frederick the Great's court, which Quantz eventually accepted after the pay had been increased significantly. In 1752 Blavet modeled on Italian interludes the first French comic opera, Le Jaloux corrigé.[1] He also wrote a march for the Grande-Loge, having joined the Masons under the influence of the Comte de Clermont who was Grand Master of the Order in France.[1] Blavet's three Recueils for two flutes are undated, but internal evidence suggests that they come from the early 1750s. The breathing marks (h, for haliene) indicated in the Recueils and his op. 2 remain an invaluable aid in understanding eighteenth-century French musical phrasing.[citation needed] He died in Paris in 1768.[1]

Musical works[edit]

Blavet wrote primarily for the transverse flute, in the so-called 'Italian' as well as the French style. His surviving works include a concerto and three books of sonatas (1740).[n 1] His surviving works are written only in the easiest keys, since he published them for amateurs to play.


Performed by Albert Tipton (flute) and Mary Norris (piano)

Performed by Alex Murray (flute) and Martha Goldstein (harpsichord)

Problems playing these files? See media help.
  • Six sonatas for two flutes without bass, Opus 1 (1728)
  • Six sonatas for flute and continuo, Op 2 (1732)
    • Nr. 1 in G major L'Henriette
    • Nr. 2 in D minor La Vibray
    • Nr. 3 in e minor La Dherouville
    • Nr. 4 in g minor La Lumagne
    • Nr. 5 in D major La Chauvet
    • Nr. 6 in a minor Le Bouget
  • Concerto in A minor for flute and strings (without viola) (1745, 1954 rediscovered).[n 2]
  • Four operas, of which only Le Jaloux Corrige (1752) survived.[n 3]
    • Le jaloux corrigé (1752)
    • Floriane ou la grotte des Spectacles (1752)
    • Les Jeux olympiques (1753)
    • La Fête de Cythère (1753)
  • Arrangements and original compositions for two flutes
    • Premier recueil de pièces accomodé pour les flûtes traversières; Deuxième recueil de pièces accomodé pour les flûtes traversières; Troisième recueil de pièces accomodé pour les flûtes traversières. Paris s.d.


  1. ^ A selection of Blavet's sonatas was published in 1908 in New England. Several arrangements have appeared in Blavet's works for the recorder (soprano and alto).
  2. ^ It has some of the composer's elaborate cadences, sounding over a pedal point.
  3. ^ Blavet was the first composer of a French comic opera.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Musicologie. "Blavet Michel (1700-1768)". Musicologie.org. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Flute History. "Michel Blavet (1700-68)". Flutehistory.com. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Blavet — Please support Wikipedia.
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Michel Blavet Works for Flute

info and buy: http://www.amazon.com/Blavet-M-Flute-Music-LInsinuante/dp/B002XCSNQQ.

Michel Blavet: Concerto for Flute Á 4 Parties in A minor

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Michel Blavet: Flute Sonata in g minor op. 2/4, "La Lumague"

Michel Blavet (1700 - 1768) 6 Sonates mêlées de pièces, op. 2 Sonate IV en sol mineur "La Lumague" (op. 2/4) (Sonata No. 4 in g minor) Adagio - "La Lumague" ...

Michel Blavet Sonata Op.2 No.5 in D major

Michel Blavet (1700-1768) was one the finest flautist in 18th century Europe, certainly the best in France. Even Quantz expressed his great admiration for Bl...

Michel Blavet: Flute Sonata in G Major op. 2/1, "L'Henriette"

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Michel Blavet: Flute Sonata in E minor op. 2/3, "La Dhérouville"

Michel Blavet (1700 - 1768) 6 Sonates mêlées de pièces, op. 2 Sonate III en mi mineur "La Dhérouville" (op. 2/3) (Sonata No. 3 in E minor) Adagio "La Dhérouv...

Michel Blavet: Flute Sonata in D minor op. 2/2, "La Vibray"

Michel Blavet (1700 - 1768) 6 Sonates mêlées de pièces, op. 2 Sonate II en ré mineur "La Vibray" (op. 2/2) (Sonata No. 2 in D minor) Andante "La Vibray" 0:10...

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42 news items

Allentown Morning Call

Allentown Morning Call
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:15:00 -0800

Certainly the selections from "Huit Pièces" by the late-Baroque composer and flute virtuoso Michel Blavet will sound very French indeed — Blavet was the principal flute in Louis XV's personal musical ensemble. Jacques Ibert's "Paraboles I and II ...

Badische Zeitung

Badische Zeitung
Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:00:00 -0800

Barocken Flötenzauber entfaltete Dorothea Kant in einer Sonate g-Moll von Michel Blavet. Geschmeidig, technisch gewandt und mit schönen Verzierungen spielte die Flötistin diese dreisätzige Sonate. Kants Flötenton erhob sich anmutig und in müheloser ...
Tue, 10 Feb 2015 17:35:30 -0800

Werke von Johann Sebastian Bach, Silvius Leopold Weiss, Georg Philipp Telemann, Ernst Gottlieb Baron, Michel Blavet, Antoine Mahaut, Carl Friedrich Abel, Jakob Friedrich Kleinknecht und Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach werden in der Kombination von ...

UIndy News

UIndy News
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:30:00 -0800

The performance in question was Michel Blavet's Flute Concerto in A minor, recorded in October in our very own Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, known far and wide for its superior acoustics and broadcast-quality recording system. The episode can be heard ...

Ithaca Journal

Ithaca Journal
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:10:13 -0700

Concertgoers will hear an array of instrumental chamber music, from solo sonatas with continuo (for flute by Michel Blavet; for cello by Jean-Baptiste Barriere), to a suite for two viols by Marin Marais, to large ensemble pieces (concerto by Jean ...

NUVO Newsweekly

NUVO Newsweekly
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:13:07 -0700

Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra's season opener found artistic director Barthold Kuijken at the helm for another thoughtful program, leading an ensemble that seems to move together as one entity, fixed on the same musical goal. “The Versailles ...

El Siglo de Tucumán

El Siglo de Tucumán
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:30:00 -0700

La próxima cita será el Jueves 23 de Octubre a las 21.00 en la Iglesia Catedral con el semanal ciclo “Conciertos Espirituales” y en la oportunidad se escucharán las Sonatas Opus 3 para Flauta Traversa y continuo de Michel Blavet a cargo de Juan Pablo ...

France Musique

France Musique
Sun, 26 Oct 2014 23:54:36 -0700

Erato (1996) - 0630-12705-2. Suite la lumague : Allemande et Presto. Michel Blavet. Suite la lumague : Allemande et Presto. Orchestre des concerts Lamoureux, Armand Birbaum , Jean-Pierre Rampal. Accord (2008) - 480 1324. Les arts florissants ...

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