Quantz: Sei Duetti, Op 2

Reviewed on Mon 15 Sep, 2014

Poor old Quantz: you have to feel a bit sorry for him, stuck at the Sans Souci palace for years on end churning out endless works for his enthusiastic amateur flautist employer Frederick the Great. Still, at least it was a steady job, and it did insulate him from the vicissitudes of changing musical tastes. Probably more aimed at performers than listeners, his Sei Duetti for two flutes were published in 1759 and function as a kind of appendix to his 1752 treatise 'On Playing the Flute', providing opportunities for practising contrapuntal melodies and, in the slow movements, expressive rubato phrasing. Taking a hint from Quantz’s introductory remarks, Greg Dikmans and Lucinda Moon sensibly provide listeners with some welcome aural variety by performing the duets on flute and muted violin. They are a fine team, admirably ardent advocates for Quantz, and illuminate the surprisingly musical charms of these pedagogic pieces.
–Mark Walker