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Johann Joachim Quantz - Flute Sonatas Nos. 272-277 (2009)

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Johann Joachim Quantz - Flute Sonatas Nos. 272-277 (2009)

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1. Flute Sonata No. 272 in F Major, QV 1:93: I. Allegro	2:43	
2. Flute Sonata No. 272 in F Major, QV 1:93: II. Largo	3:57	
3. Flute Sonata No. 272 in F Major, QV 1:93: III. Vivace	4:59	
4. Flute Sonata No. 273 in G Major, QV 1:109: I. Presto ma fiero		3:05
5. Flute Sonata No. 273 in G Major, QV 1:109: II. Grave	4:00	
6. Flute Sonata No. 273 in G Major, QV 1:109: III. Vivace	4:19
7. Flute Sonata No. 274 in A Major, QV 1:145: I. Allegro		2:53	
8. Flute Sonata No. 274 in A Major, QV 1:145: II. Alla Siciliana	3:00	
9. Flute Sonata No. 274 in A Major, QV 1:145: III. Grazioso ma vivace	5:31	
10. Flute Sonata No. 275 in B-Flat Major, QV 1:161: I. Allegro di molto	2:42	
11. Flute Sonata No. 275 in B-Flat Major, QV 1:161: II. Affetuoso	3:29
12. Flute Sonata No. 275 in B-Flat Major, QV 1:161: III. Vivace	3:57	
13. Flute Sonata No. 276 in C Minor, QV 1:18: I. Allegro ma con brio	2:37	
14. Flute Sonata No. 276 in C Minor, QV 1:18: II. Cantabile	2:57	
15. Flute Sonata No. 276 in C Minor, QV 1:18: III. Presto		2:41	
16. Flute Sonata No. 277 in D Major, QV 1:42: I. Allegro assai	2:43
17. Flute Sonata No. 277 in D Major, QV 1:42: II. Arioso		3:29	
18. Flute Sonata No. 277 in D Major, QV 1:42: III. Alla Forlana ma presto	3:48

Verena Fischer – flute
Klaus-Dieter Brandt – baroque cello
Leon Berben – harpsichord

 

Flutist Verena Fischer's complete Quantz sonata cycle began this year, with Sonatas Nos. 272-277. The numbering is confusing: original pieces are mixed up with those actually composed by Frederick the Great, but at least 204 authentic works by Quantz survive. With approximately five sonatas per disc, and the projected release of one disc per year, the complete cycle should be finished by 2050. It will be interesting to see if the artists (not to mention the record industry) survive the entire process, or if Sharon Bezaly on BIS beats them to it. -- Classics Today, David Hurwitz, January 2010

 

The name of Johann Joachim Quantz appears in every music history text, with mention of his treatise on flute playing and perhaps the intersections of his career with those of the members of the Bach family. His music itself, as annotator Meike ten Brink points out in the booklet for this Naxos release (in German and English), is actually quite uncommon; most of it has not even been published or edited. Perhaps compilers have been daunted by Quantz's sheer productivity; the sonatas heard here, numbered from 272 to 277, come from a corpus of more than 300 works in the genre, and the composer was prolific in other chamber genres, as well. Thus, this beautifully performed collection is most welcome. The packaging doesn't quite give an idea of what the music sounds like. There's lots of mention of Quantz's "mixed taste," combining various national styles and of his galant tendencies. These descriptions may be relevant for other Quantz compositions, but these sonatas are Italianate to the core, and they are only intermittently -- in the central movements and a few of the finales -- galant. The opening movements are the strongest, and there the model is Italian opera. Quantz challenges the flutist by writing what are essential soprano arias for it, and that's extremely exciting to listen to. Baroque flutist Verena Fischer keeps up with the abrupt registral shifts, the dramatic outbursts, and the long strings of notes at the top of her range, all without ever letting the sound of the instrument degenerate, and the continuo accompaniment of Baroque cellist Klaus-Dieter Brandt and harpsichordist Léon Berben is equally vigorous if not so sensitive in, say, the middle movement of the Flute Sonata No. 274 in A major, AV 1:145, where there isn't much of a Siciliana feeling. It's good to have a new disc of music by Quantz to put to the many mentions of his name in print, and the opening movements of these sonatas are especially commended to aspiring flute recitalists. –James Manheim, Rovi

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