Product Reviews: On Playing the Flute (Second Edition)
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“A "must read" for all serious players”
We do Quantz great injustice if we label him only as the flute teacher of Frederick the Great, or think of him as a court composer of secondary importance after such luminaries as CPE Bach or Telemann. Quantz was a complete musician of the highest calibre as this book shows. It is not just for those who wish to understand performance practice of the baroque; it is a "must read" for all serious flute players. There is much to learn from studying this book closely.
Reilly's biographical introduction to Quantz is fascinating and helps locate the man in his time and place. Quantz's own preface and introduction (together with Reilly's introduction, not mentioned in the list of contents on the Just Flutes website) is a model of general wisdom from an experienced teacher. His observations and recommendations on the attitudes and behaviours necessary to become a musician are just as relevant as they were when he wrote them.
Quantz's observations on the details of musical interpretation are clear and helpful - for instance his discussion of tempi cuts through much obscurity and unnecessary complexity. His instruction of practical flute technique must be read with reference to the (baroque) flutes that he played, and are not to be followed uncritically by the player of the Boehm flute, but here too there is much to learn and to adapt to our needs. For the modern player of the baroque flute there is no better teacher.
Above all, the personality of Quantz shines through: highly intelligent, warm and humane; shrewd and exacting in his demands upon himself and his students. A "must read".