Mary Oleskiewicz / Miklós Spányi / Concerto Armonico

Johann Joachim Quantz: Flute Concertos

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American Baroque flutist Mary Oleskiewicz has established herself as a specialist in the music of Johann Joachim Quantz, not only performing it but discovering a cross-section of pieces that were hidden in various libraries. Quantz's name is ubiquitous in discussions of German musical life in the middle of the 18th century, but his actual music, almost all of it for flute, was virtually unknown until Oleskiewicz came along. The four concertos heard here are pleasant examples of the galant style, with mostly major-key slow movements that highlight the gentle sound of Oleskiewicz's wooden Baroque flutes. The music suffers a bit in comparison with Telemann, the nearest comparison for these chamber-sized works; the flute writing is naturally enough elegant (not brilliant), but memorable tunes are rare. The strongest points on the album lie in its various authentic touches. The Flute Concerto in C minor, QV 5:38, which was Quantz's last work (it was actually completed by his student, Frederick the Great, after his death), is played with a one-instrument-per-part accompaniment known to have been favored by Frederick in his later years. This has a suitably haunting effect. Naxos' studio recording on the Hungarian home ground of conductor Miklós Spányi and Concerto Armonico is sympathetic, and in general this release can be recommended to those interested in early flute music.

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