After originals probably by Claude Rafi (Lyons, d.1553)
in the Accademia Filarmonica, Verona.
The Rafi flutes have larger bores and thicker walls than
the other types we make. They are more suited for playing
in the lower range and less easy in the high register. Their
design favors a rich tone and good intonation rather than
an easy finger stretch.
The originals on which our consort is based are the lowest-pitched
of all extant renaissance flutes (I-Verona: Accademia Filarmonica
13287 and 13281). These are large instruments to handle, especially
the bass which can only be played by a tall and limber person.
The original flutes play two whole tones below cornett pitch,
"in Bb" at a=460, or in D (i.e. without transposing)
a third below that at a=360. Other extant Rafi flutes, some
with different makers' marks, play at higher pitches.
The bass for our set is extrapolated from an incomplete bass
flute by Rafi and the discant is an invention in the absence
of any suitable original.
We can supply Rafi consorts to play at any or all of the
pitches described below. Our consort consists of five flutes:
a bass (lowest note G), and four tenor/altos (lowest note
D). A discant (lowest note G) is available separately.
Le Concert Virtuel (Ardal Powell, tenor flute;
Ardal Powell, tenor flute; Ardal Powell, tenor flute; Ardal
Powell, bass flute; Rafi consort in maple at a=360).
Orlando di Lasso, La nuict froide et sombre, 1576.
Recording made for this web site on 3-3-03, enhanced with
acoustic signature of Hudson
Opera House, Hudson NY.
Time: 1 minute 50 seconds Size: 1.7 Mbytes 16 bit stereo 44.1
For perfect matching of pitch, intonation, and appearance,
we recommend you order our consort flutes as a set. You can
order them one at a time if you prefer, but they are not meant
for playing by themselves of with other (non-flute) instruments.
A flute after Rafi we recommend for
solo or mixed-consort use is on its own page.