Review By Carla Rees,MusicWeb International,April 2010
Quantz was known both as a leading flute player and as a prolific composer. He worked from 1741 under the employ of Frederick the Great, who was himself a keen flute player. His output includes an important treatise on flute technique, as well as around three hundred concertos and over two hundred sonatas, although many of these have been lost today.
This is an excellent disc distinguished by a fine balance between parts. It has clearly been engineered with a good understanding of the nature of the tone qualities of these instruments. The tone is beautifully smooth and full of expressive nuance, and none of the subtleties are lost in this recording.
Review By Jerry Dubins ,Fanfare,March 2010
Johann Joachim Quantz (1697–1773) lived long and prospered. He was born near Göttingen, Germany, and died in Potsdam, but not before distinguishing himself as a flute teacher, flute maker, and composer at the court of Frederick the Great of Prussia, and not before he had written a treatise on flute playing, made important innovations in flute design, and wrote somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 flute concertos. If Quantz wrote anything other than concertos for solo flute, it would be another dozen or so concertos for two flutes, over 360 flute sonatas, some 50 trio sonatas with—you guessed it—flute, duets for flute, fantasias for flute (my keyboard has learned to type “flute” all by itself), capriccios for flute, and—not for flute—an
Nonetheless, if I had to listen to over an hour’s worth of Quantz’s flute sonatas, I cannot think of another recording I’d rather listen to than this one, probably because I’ve never heard another one, my sole Quantz recording being Rachel Brown’s Hyperion disc of five concertos.
Verena Fischer’s transverse flute is not identified, but it’s clear from the booklet photo that it’s made of wood. Otherwise, it doesn’t sound that much different from a modern metal flute. Perhaps more important than what the instrument is made of is Fischer’s manner and style of playing it, for she is a relatively recent convert to the cause, her prior credentials having been earned playing modern flute in modern-instrument ensembles, namely, the German Youth Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, and Gary Bertini. She also served two years as principal flutist in the Southwest German Philharmonic and the Würzburg Philharmonic orchestras. Taking up study of the Baroque flute under Barthold Kuijken and others, she quickly advanced to become principal flutist of Reinhard Goebel’s Musica Antiqua Köln.
Fischer’s technique is astounding. She tosses off Quantz’s acrobatic runs and roulades with the aplomb of an Olympics figure skater executing a perfect Axel jump…Quantz’s music is tremendously imaginative, ever inventive, and infectiously enchanting. Most assuredly recommended.