Stefano Bagliano recorder, Collegium Pro Musica
Brilliant Classics 95386
QV2: 20, Anh.3; QV5:139; QV6:8a
How is it possible that such an important composer features so rarely on commercial recordings? If it weren’t for his writings, the HIP movement would struggle to understand 18th-century orchestral performance practice. And yes, ok, we are told he “churned out” concerto after concerto for the novelty-hungry King of Prussia, but how can we possibly know that they are not worth hearing at all without enterprising groups like Collegium Pro Musica and open-minded record companies like Brilliant Classics? Of course, it is just a re-working of the Stravinsky line about Vivaldi recycling the same piece ad nauseam. Bagliano and his friends have selected a concerto for recorder and strings, one with a flute added, a trio sonata for the two woodwinds (now in the appendix to the Quantz catalogue), and a G minor trio for recorder, violin and continuo. They are, without exception, well worth hearing, and very nicely played by one-to-a-part strings (including double bass) and continuo. It is a pity the programme is so short, in fact – with performances of this quality, I feel sure that most customers would have forgiven the inclusion of a recorder-free work. That said, I would rather have this slightly short recital than not have it, and I hope that I will not be the only enthusiastic critic, and that everyone concerned in this project will look to recording more of Quantz’s lovely music!