Abel published quite a few chamber works with flute, meeting the demand for new music by the many gentleman flutists in England. The flute concertos contained here, despite their opus number, were never published, but are found in a manuscript held in Leipzig which can be dated prior to 1759. Stylistically these works have left the Baroque far behind, with regular phrases, simple basses , broad harmonic movement. The melodies make ample use of lombardic rhythms and syncopations and the florid passaggi sparkles with triplets and scalar passages in sixteenths. Though there are occasional harmonic complications which recall Abel's background, the overall tone here is that of the Enlightenment. Who can Abel have written these works for?
American Baroque flutist Mary Oleskiewicz has established herself as a specialist in the music of Johann Joachim Quantz, not only performing it but discovering a cross-section of pieces that were hidden in various libraries. Quantz's name is ubiquitous in discussions of German musical life in the middle of the 18th century, but his actual music, almost all of it for flute, was virtually unknown until Oleskiewicz came along. The four concertos heard here are pleasant examples of the galant style, with mostly major-key slow movements that highlight the gentle sound of Oleskiewicz's wooden Baroque flutes.
After listening to these pieces, it is hard to believe that Mozart hated the flute, at least that what it said in the liner notes. It isn't important weather or not Mozart liked or disliked the flute. What is important is that he wrote these beautiful pieces for that instrument. The music on this disc, especially the Concerto for Flute and harp K.299, gliters with Mozart's enthusiasm and optimistic energy. Combine this with James Galway, Marisa Robles (the only harpist that I know of), and the expert Mozartean Neville Marriner, what you get is a great Mozartean experience.
Flautist Sharon Bezaly with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Lan Shui here play the music of three composers who are all resident in the USA, but have their roots across the Pacific Ocean, in China. Philosophical, musical and literary aspects of this Chinese heritage are in evidence in the works recorded here.
Young flautist Katherine Bryan is rapidly establishing her place as one of Britain’s bright musical stars of the future. For her second recording on Linn, the in-demand concerto soloist performs a selection of 20th century concertos plus Debussy’s Syrinx and Frank Martin’s Ballade. The Flute Concerto by American composer Christopher Rouse is among his most successful and widely performed works since its debut in 1994. Rouse’s concerto calls for astonishing pyrotechnics for both the flute and the orchestra; Katherine is able to showcase the sheer quality of her technique and her playing.
The Camerata Köln is a Cologne-based chamber ensemble devoted largely to early music, with a special focus on woodwind compositions. The group's repertory includes concertos, quartets, quintets, sonatas, and other works mainly from the post-Renaissance era and reaching into the Classical period. The group concertizes regularly in Germany and most parts of Europe and has made numerous tours of the Americas and other parts of the globe. By 2006, it had made well over 50 recordings…
As Jan de Winne comments, the golden age of the transverse flute was 1740–80—though it hadn't done badly for many decades before that, no small thanks to mechanical improvements and the influential encouragement of, amongst others, Frederick the Great and prince elector Karl Theodor in Mannheim, both of whom were flautists…
– John Duarte, Gramophone