Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in G Major n. 161 QV 5:174 (1745)

Johann Joachim Quartz (1697-1772)

Program note written by Jacob Farmer

I. Allegro
II. Arioso mesto
III. Allegro vivace

Approximate Performance Time:
16 minutes

Advanced Intermediate – appropriate for advanced high school and college undergraduates

Jean-Pierre Rampal, Antiqua Musica Orchestra & Jacques Roussel. Flute Concerto in G Major. Rec. 04 Sept. 2000. Universal International Music B.V., 2000. MP3

Source Article:
Worthen, Douglas E. “A Semiotic View of the Flute Concerto Genre from Vivaldi to Mozart.” Order No. 3285238 University of Hartford, 2007. Ann Arbor: ProQuest. Web. 1 Oct. 2016.

Johann Joachim Quantz was born in 1697 in Oberscheden, Germany, and died in 1773 in Potsdam. He is well known as a composer, flutist, and flute maker. His first music lessons were with his uncle. After his uncle’s death three months later, he was taught by his uncle’s son-in-law, from whom he learned string instruments as well as oboe and trumpet. Quantz began his performing career as an oboist at the Polish Chapel of Augustus II, but found it difficult to advance on that instrument. He then turned to the transverse flute. In 1719, Quantz began to study flute with French flutist Pierre-Gabriel Buffardin, although Johann-Georg Pisendel, a violinist and representative of both the French and Italian styles, is credited with having a more significant influence on Quantz in both performing and composing. Between 1724 and 1729, Quantz toured throughout Europe as a flutist. In 1728, he traveled to Berlin and impressed Prince Frederick so deeply that the Frederick wanted Quantz to become his flute teacher. Twice a year, Quantz returned and gave him lessons. In 1740, the prince became King Frederick II of Prussia and hired Quantz as a court musician, and in 1741, Quantz began his career in the court as flutist, flute maker, and composer. Quantz’s compositional output is immense, with approximately 300 concerti, 200 sonatas, and unaccompanied flute music consisting of preludes, fantasias, and caprices. Although the majority of his œuvre is for flute, he also wrote vocal and orchestral works. 

Piece Information:
Quantz’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in G Major n. 161 follows the typical galant style of the 1700’s. This work contains three movements in the order of fast, slow, and fast. Each movement follows a ritornello form. The fast movements contain numerous amounts of creative figuration and a variety of ideas displaying the brilliant capabilities of the flute that he designed for himself. The slower movements exhibit the new expressivity and richness of the modified flute.