Vanhal: Flute Quartets

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Bohemian composer Johann Baptist Vanhal preceded Mozart as a freelancer and was more alert than his successor to the possibilities of writing music that would sell well in printed form. These quartets for flute, violin, viola, and cello, from the early 1770s, offer good examples. They are technically simple works that are just attractive enough that they would have delighted the aristocratic amateurs who purchased them. The quartets are striking for their overall homogeneity. They seem to vary little even from movement to movement, with even the Adagio second movement of the "Flute Quartet in G major, Op. 7, No. 3," having a sort of forward-plodding tune that makes the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Bohemian composer Johann Baptist Vanhal preceded Mozart as a freelancer and was more alert than his successor to the possibilities of writing music that would sell well in printed form. These quartets for flute, violin, viola, and cello, from the early 1770s, offer good examples. They are technically simple works that are just attractive enough that they would have delighted the aristocratic amateurs who purchased them. The quartets are striking for their overall homogeneity. They seem to vary little even from movement to movement, with even the Adagio second movement of the "Flute Quartet in G major, Op. 7, No. 3," having a sort of forward-plodding tune that makes the music seem faster than it really is. The outer movements have little in the way of thematic development, and in the genuine Allegros the passagework for the flute and strings is invariably put into the primary chords of the key. Despite the restricted language, there's a gentle, ingratiating quality to the music throughout. U.S.-based Janaki Trio along with flutist Uwe Grodd catch this quality perfectly and avoid the very easy temptation of making more of this music than is actually there. The influence of Vanhal on Mozart may extend beyond economic matters -- hear the minuets of these three trios and note how much closer they are to the well-proportioned Mozart concept than to Haydn's gruff, unpredictable minuets. For collections of Classical-era music this disc is a worthwhile addition. The chief negative for this album is the sound -- a church is often a poor choice for Classical chamber music, and the Toronto church where this music was recorded gives the performance an over-reverberant quality.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/24/2007
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313023479
  • Catalog Number: 8570234
  • Sales rank: 251,818

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Janaki String Trio Primary Artist
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