American Record Guide Reviews Quantz Flute Sonatas CD (Naxos)

Oleskiewicz is a “master of [her] instrument…with an open, sweet sound….[she] is not afraid to venture into difficult territory.”

by JOHNSON
for American Record Guide
Jul/Aug 2003; 64, 4; p. 123 (excerpt from a review of two CDs)

Mary Oleskiewicz, flute, with Jean-François Beaudin, second flute; Stephanie Vial, cello; David Schulenberg, harpsichord / Naxos 555-64 — 60 minutes

I am glad to see Johann Joachim Quantz’s (1697-1773) flute music gaining more attention. Quantz, a virtuoso flutist and composer, worked in Dresden before becoming the court composer for Frederick the reat in Potsdam in 1741. He also tutored the King on flute playing and made flutes. He wrote hundreds of works for the instrument, including sonatas and concertos.

Here are two excellent recordings, each with a slightly different view of Quantz. Oleskiewicz shows Quantz’s skills as a composer of diverse styles. Her recital includes sonatas with baroque contrapuntal writing, Italian concerto influences, and French dance movements. Oleskiewicz, Beaudin, Vial, and Schulenberg are masters of their instruments and are not afraid to venture into difficult territory–they play a sonata in E-flat, a challenging key on the traverso. Their playing is as varied and interesting as the sonatas they play. Oleskiewicz has an open, sweet sound, and I like her ornaments and notes inégales. Schulenberg plays the fortepiano on two of the sonatas. He and Vial are a colorful and balanced continuo team.

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