Johann Joachim Quantz: 4 Flute Concertos / Mary Oleskiewicz, baroque transverse flute


These melodically elegant and interesting concertos by late Baroque composer Johann Joachim Quantz will delight just about any listener who enjoys baroque music. The recording is thoroughly enjoyable, with splendid performances by baroque transverse flute soloist Mary Oleskiewicz and the Concerto Armonico under harpsichordist, conductor and early music specialist Miklós Spányi. Issued by Naxos, these are the premiere recordings of all four works; in fact, only the concerto which opens the program was ever published, the other three existing in manuscript form only.

There could hardly be a composer whose name is more tied to a specific instrument than is that of Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) to the flute. This German flautist, flute maker and composer became the most respected performer in all of Europe, composed in excess of 300 concertos for his instrument and wrote a treatise on flute performance practice which remains an invaluable window on performance concepts of the mid-18th century. The concerto form itself was relatively new in Quantz' time, and his music reflects the many models by his most famous contemporaries, Vivaldi, Scarlatti and Handel. You can hear the high quality of Quantz' music, and of the superb performances, in the sample provided, the third movement Vivace from Quantz' Flute Concerto in D minor.

These performances can be considered definitively authentic. Ms. Oleskiewicz is considered an authority on music heard in the court of Prussian King Frederick the Great, especially that of Quantz. For example, her investigations lead to the decision to use bassoon and fortepiano as the continuo instruments for these recordings.

If you are drawn to this music, there are three other discs featured on Expedition Audio which you would likely also enjoy: one of flute sonatas by Michel Blavet, and two programs of baroque concertos by Friedrich Hartmann Graff and Anton Hoffmeister. Together with this Naxos recording, we have nearly five hours of aural bliss for the flute aficionado.

Here are some rather random samples from the album posted by Naxos - which unfortunately cut off just about every time the flute comes in.