Early Music Reviews Quantz: Six Flute Quartets CD (Hungaroton)

By VICTORIA HELBY for Early Music Review, Aug. 2006

Mary Oleskiewicz, flute; Elizabeth Field, violin; Daniel Elyar, viola; Stephanie Vial, cello; David Schulenberg, harpsichord / Hungaroton, HCD 32286


This is the first recording of these quartets, which were found by Mary Oleskiewicz in the archives of the Berlin Sing-Akademie. More information about their discovery can be found in her article in Early Music, 31.1 (November 2003). Quantz said in an autobiographical letter that he had written several flute quartets, but these are the first to be identified. He wrote in his Versuch: “A Quartet or Sonata with three concertante instruments and a bass is the true touchstone of a genuine contrapuntist,” and contrapuntal is certainly the way to describe to describe these six varied quartets. All the instruments, including the viola, have plenty of opportunity for virtuosic display. The result is often excitingly busy in the fast movements. Mary Oleskiewicz plays on a copy of a flute by Quantz at A=385. This is a well-balanced recording, with all parts of the often complex contrapuntal textures clearly audible.

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