Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Traverso Lessons with Herr Quantz

One of the reasons I stopped playing baroque flute 25 years ago was that I no longer had people to play with (my instrument is pitched at A=415). A new pianist-friend with some experience in harpsichord playing (and access to an instrument that could be tuned to A=415) asked if I would like to play something together. I took out my baroque flute the other day to see if I could still play, and, to my surprise and delight, everything returned except for a few odd fingerings (which I had to "find") and my endurance.

When I taught myself to play baroque flute (traverso) back in the early 1980s, I used a Buchlein attributed to Frederick the Great. I always suspected that Johann Joachim Quantz wrote it as practice material for for his most important student. Yesterday I started exploring the Quantz page of the IMSLP in search of the Buchlein, and I came upon this manuscript of Solfeggi for Flute. Here are some examples from the 80-page book, which seems to be a compendium of difficult passages, exercises, and ideas.

I'm looking forward to working on a page a day for the next 80 days.

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