Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 
REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples and Downloads


Johann Joachim QUANTZ (1697 - 1773)
Flute Sonatas: No.272 in F (QV 1,93) [11:40]; No.273 in G (QV 1,109) [11:25]; No.274 in A (QV 1,145) [11:27]; No.275 in B flat (QV 1,161) [10:09]; No.276 in c minor (QV 1,18) [08:17]; No.277 in D (QV 1,42) [10:02]
Verena Fischer (transverse flute); Klaus-Dieter Brandt (cello); Léon Berben (harpsichord)
rec. 15-17 November 2006, small auditorium, Meistersingerhalle, Nuremberg, Germany. DDD
NAXOS 8.557805 [63:28]

Experience Classicsonline

Johann Joachim Quantz is mainly known as a flautist as well as being the author of one of the most important treatises of the 18th century. In fact his accomplishments were much more extensive than that. He didn’t start out with the flute. One could compare his musical education with that of a German 'Stadtpfeifer'. One of the characteristics of the Stadtpfeifer involved learning to play several instruments. That was also the case with Quantz: he was proficient on most string instruments as well as the oboe and the trumpet. He also learnt to play the keyboard. It was only logical that in 1716 he join the town band in Dresden.

In the earliest stages of his career he played the oboe. Through various studies he extended his horizon. He studied counterpoint with Jan Dismas Zelenka, and became acquainted with the concertos of Vivaldi, which had a considerable influence on his development as a composer. In 1719 he turned his attention to the transverse flute and started to study with Pierre Gabriel Buffardin, the star flautist of the court orchestra in Dresden. It was the orchestra's violinist Johann Georg Pisendel who had the greatest influence on Quantz, especially in his advocacy of the 'mixed taste' of Italian and French elements.

His meeting with the then Crown Prince Frederick II of Prussia in 1728 was decisive. He made such an impression that he was asked to educate him in playing the flute. When Frederick succeeded his father as king of Prussia, Quantz had to provide him with music for his favoured instrument. The king played frequently, and his appetite for flute music was insatiable. As a result Quantz composed a large quantity of music: about 300 flute concertos, more than 40 trio sonatas, almost 200 solo sonatas as well as solos, duos and trios for flute without accompaniment.

This disc offers six of the sonatas which have taken a special place in Quantz's oeuvre. A number of these are in four movements, modelled after the Italian sonata da camera or sonata da chiesa. Others are in three movements, with the sequence: slow-fast-fast. The present sonatas, also in three movements, follow the order fast-slow-fast. The assumption is that they were written around 1750.

The programme notes quote a passage from his treatise Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversière zu spielen (Essay on Instruction for Playing the Transverse Flute) in which Quantz outlines his view on composing: "If a solo is to please everyone it must be arranged so that the inclination of each listener can find nourishment in it. It must be neither entirely cantabile nor entirely lively. Just as each movement must be quite different from the others, so each must have within itself a good mixture of pleasing and brilliant ideas. For even the most beautiful idea can eventually become tiresome if it is not played differently each time, and although constant liveliness or sheer difficulty might be admired, neither is especially moving".

In my view these interpretations fail to live up to Quantz's principles. Yes, the performances are technically brilliant, and musically they are lively and energetic. That said, they are short on expression and sensitivity. What I find most disappointing is the lack of differentiation in dynamics in the playing. Verena Fischer mostly plays forte, and the only dynamic shading is between forte and mezzo-forte.

The tempi of the fast movements are mostly very fast, which in itself is no problem. But here it leads to a performance which doesn't breathe, and the playing is too straightforward. The slow movements are the most unsatisfying. Take the middle movement of Sonata No. 275, which has the character indication affettuoso. The performance is in fact short on Affekt: it just goes on and on, without much variety in dynamic. Despite Quantz’s indications the second movement of the Sonata No. 276 is not very cantabile.

This disc shows that Quantz was a rather good composer; there is no reason to look down on his oeuvre. In that respect this disc is a winner, and nice to listen to. Yet I found it difficult to listen to it at a stretch, as I usually do with review discs. The style of performance tends to become tiresome after a while. A more sensitive interpretation would have done Quantz's sonatas greater justice. My advice is to listen to no more than a couple of these sonatas at a time.

Johan van Veen

see also review by Carla Rees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.