Bessaraboff Prize Awarded to David Lasocki


The American Musical Instrument Society awards the Nicholas Bessaraboff Prize annually for the most distinguished book-length publication written in English. The 2021 Bessaraboff Prize goes to David Lasocki for Jean-Baptiste Lully and the Flute: Recorder, Voice Flute, and Traverso, published in 2019 by Instant Harmony.


Instant Harmony describes the book with the following: “Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–1687) looms large in any study of woodwind repertoire in the seventeenth century. Nevertheless, his music for flûtes is still little known today, despite comprehensive studies over the last fifty years. One of the purposes of David Lasocki’s book is to bring the music to wider attention, so it includes a large number of full-length musical examples. The book begins by taking a detailed look at the woodwind musicians who played Lully’s music and also consider the music of his predecessors. Drawing on this evidence, the book then discusses his flutes to determine as far as possible whether they were recorders (and of what sizes) and or traversos. The book also ties in Lasocki’s new theory about the voice flute (alto recorder in d1), the origins of which have been mysterious until now. The flûte music of Lully’s student Pascal Collasse is also considered, for good measure. And there are passing looks at the development of the oboe, cromore, and bassoon.”

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