Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quantz - 6 Flute Quartets - Oleskiewicz, Field, Vial, Schulenberg

 


 

 

 

 

Review:

The CD features Mary Oleskiewicz on baroque flute performing six recently discovered quartets by the 18thc German composer Johann Joachim Quantz. David Schulenberg plays harpsichord, Elizabeth Field violin, Stephanie Vial cello and Daniel Elyar viola. The performances are excellent. Oleskiewicz has superb tone and plays expressively andJJ Quantz flawlessly. Schulenberg produces precise and intelligent continuo parts. The strings are fine--the cello is especially good. Overall, the result is a superb recording that both trained and untrained ears will enjoy.

The music itself is also noteworthy. Oleskiewicz, an academic musicologist, recent disovered the quartets in German archives; this is their premier recording. Quantz' compositions involve intricate counterpoint which often rivals that of Bach.

Each of the quartets is in three movements following the standard fast, slow, fast format. Half of the quartets are in major, half in minor keys. I especially liked the opening D major, full of complex energy, featuring a quote from Vivaldi (as Oleskiewicz points out in her helpful liner notes.) The G major is very bright and instantly attractive as well. The final quartet in Bm is more serious and intensive, and the players rise to the challenge. In sum, this disc is a must for all Baroque music lovers. 

 

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