Caprices, Fantasias and Beginner’s Pieces for Solo Flute (QV 3:1) by J.J. Quantz
First edition by Winfried Michel and Hermien Teske
Includes Caprice #1 in d, QV3:1.8; Caprice #2 in e, QV3:1.10; Caprice #3 in F, QV3:1.12; Caprice #4 in GQV3:1.15; Caprice #5 in G, QV3:1.17; Caprice #6 in G,QV3:1.14; Caprice #7 in a, QV3:1.19; Caprice #8 in Bb, QV3:1.21;
The pieces collected here display the composer and teacher’s lofty goals and expectations from the start: they are not soloistic studies, but well crafted character pieces that impart not just flute technique but also an insight into harmony and the conduct of the bass, seeking to form complete musicians, not just virtuosi. Although on a different stylistic wavelength from
J. S. Bach’s keyboard Inventions, the two pedagogic collections are certainly comparable; the strong foretaste of composition is unsurpassed in both cases, and the variety of expression and colour, beside the perfect command of counterpoint also shown by Quantz (as evident in pieces 5 and 18), will be obvious to an impartial judge.
About this edition: All the pieces here are from the manuscript collection Fantasier og Capricier af Quanz (Giedde’s Samling I,17) owned by the Royal Library in Copenhagen. We also find many bars from these pieces, often with commentaries, in a further manuscript ‘SOLFEGGI /POUR / La Flute Traversiere / avec l’enseignement, /Par / Monsr Quantz’. This source confirms Quantz’s authorship, but assigns a Minuetto in E-flat major to his Dresden colleague Johann Martin Blockwitz, which
we have omitted. We do not know whether there are other, now lost, pieces of this kind. The description Anfangsstücke appears in the Solfeggi, under the first bars of the G major piece (No. 11 of our volume: see die Quantzschen Anfangsstücke). It is unclear whether this term really applies to every piece – it is hard to imagine a beginner flutist coping with A flat major,
f sharp minor or b flat minor. We ordered the pieces, alternating between major and minor, according to the chromatic scale of C; almost every key of the circle of fifths is present. In the source, the first bars of No. 6, 10, 15 and 18 feature two different key signatures. The tempi and signs of expression of pieces 6, 7, 10 and 13 are taken from the above-named collection of the Caprices; No. 5 has only Alla breve, No. 11 is headed Allo in the Solfeggi, and bar 23 of No. 18 has Anfangsstück above it; all other signs are by the editor. — Winfried Michel