Quantz, JJ :: Concerto in G major

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  • Composer
    Quantz, JJ
  • Instrumentation
    Flute & Piano
  • Publisher
    International Music Company (IMC) [2687]
  • Editor
    Rampal, Jean-Pierre
  • Orchestration
    fl, pn
  • Includes CD or Audio Download
    No
  • Classification
    Not Applicable
  • Genre
    Undefined
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Concerto in G major

Quantz, JJ

International Music Company presents J.J. Quantz Concerto in G major for flute and piano edited by Jean-Pierre Rampal.

'When the instrumental concerto emerged as a distinct genre in the first years of the eighteenth century, it was almost invariably a work for stringed instruments. Vivaldi alone wrote hundreds of such works, most of them with violin soloist, and when German composers, including Bach and Telemann, adopted the concerto in the following decades, initially they employed it primarily for string instruments as well. The first generation of concerto composers, however, was already experimenting with works for other solo instruments, and among their followers were players of wind, keyboard, and even brass instruments eager to take up the new genre. These included Johann Joachim Quantz, who proved to be the most innovative player, composer, and maker of the eighteenth-century flute. Author as well of an influential treatise on flute playing, Quantz composed hundreds of works for his instrument, including over two hundred sonatas and nearly three hundred concertos. Until recently, the only widely known work from this vast output was a single concerto in G major, made famous through an accident of music history: the nineteenth-century flautist Moritz Furstenau had selected it for performance (in his own considerably altered edition), and ever since this one concerto has been repeatedly performed and reprinted. Although an attractive work, listed as No 5:174 in the modern thematic catalogue by Horst Augsbach, a single concerto could hardly represent adequately the composer s considerable technical and expressive range. Indeed, that Quantz s music even possesses much variety, or displays any great compositional skill, has often been doubted, chiefly on the basis of a somewhat misleading report by the eighteenth-century English writer Charles Burney. Burney, who travelled to Germany and met Quantz near the very end of the composer s long career, left a famous account of his visit in 1772. Quantz by then had been serving for over thirty years as teacher, composer, and flute-maker to Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. The king, himself an amateur flautist and composer of considerable ability, had cultivated music throughout his long reign. He was particularly famous for the private concerts that he held regularly in his various palaces, and Burney described one such concert, in which the the king was, as usual, accompanied by a few select players from his court orchestra. By the 1770s, however, the king and his musicians were long past their prime, and his repertory was limited to works of his own and Quantz s composition. Burney also failed to note that he was permitted to hear the king s music-making only through the closed door to the private music-room in the royal palace of Sanssouci. These royal concerts nevertheless were the principal venue at court for the four works included in the present recording, which is based on detailed research into original performing practices at Sanssouci, including the use of bassoon and fortepiano as members of the basso continuo group. This same research has revealed that Quantz s concertos, composed over a period of five decades, display considerable musical as well as technical variety. The early works, composed while Quantz was a member of the Saxon court orchestra at Dresden, betray the influence of Vivaldi and other Italian composers, such as Alessandro Scarlatti, whom Quantz visited during a tour of Italy, France, and Britain during 1724 7 that also led him to Handel in London and the French flautist Blavet in Paris. From these travels and contacts, Quantz doubtless picked up numerous musical ideas, but perhaps the greatest source of inspiration was the Italian opera of the day, in which virtuoso singers re-enacted the history of ancient Greece and Rome on the stages of Dresden and other cities. Frederick was particularly enamoured of Italian opera, and among his first acts after becoming king in 1740 was to found an opera house and company in his capital city of Berlin; another was to engage Quantz in 1741 as the chief instrumentalist of his court music.'

- NAXOS

  • Composer
    Quantz, JJ
  • Instrumentation
    Flute & Piano
  • Publisher
    International Music Company (IMC) [2687]
  • Editor
    Rampal, Jean-Pierre
  • Orchestration
    fl, pn
  • Includes CD or Audio Download
    No
  • Classification
    Not Applicable
  • Genre
    Undefined
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