Johann Joachim Quantz
|Johann Joachim Quantz|
Portrait by Johann Friedrich Gerhard, 1735
|Born||30 January 1697
|Died||12 July 1773
|Works||List of compositions by Johann Joachim Quantz|
Johann Joachim Quantz (German: [kvants]; 30 January 1697 – 12 July 1773) was a German flutist, flute maker and Baroque music composer. He composed hundreds of flute sonatas and concertos, and wrote On Playing the Flute, a treatise on flute performance.
Quantz was born as Hanß Jochim Quantz in Oberscheden, near Göttingen, in the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg. His father was a blacksmith who died when Hans was not yet 11; on his deathbed, he begged his son to follow in his footsteps. Nevertheless, from 1708 to 1713 he began his musical studies as a child with his uncle Justus Quantz, a town musician in Merseburg. From 1714 on, he studied composition extensively and pored over scores of the masters to adopt their style.
In 1716 he joined the town band in Dresden, where in 1717 he studied counterpoint with Jan Dismas Zelenka. In March 1718 he was appointed oboist in the newly formed Dresden Polish Chapel of August II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. As it became clear that he couldn't advance as an oboist in the Polish Chapel, Quantz decided to pursue the flute, studying briefly in 1719 with Pierre-Gabriel Buffardin, principal flute in the Royal Orchestra. He became good friends with Johann Georg Pisendel, concertmaster of the Royal Orchestra, who greatly influenced his style.
Between 1724 and 1727 Quantz completed his education by doing a "Grand Tour" of Europe as a flutist. He studied counterpoint with Francesco Gasparini in Rome, met Alessandro Scarlatti in Naples, befriended the flutist Michel Blavet in Paris, and met Handel in London. In 1728 Quantz accompanied August II on a state visit to Berlin. The Queen of Prussia was impressed and wanted to hire him. Though August II refused, he allowed Quantz to travel to Berlin as often as he was asked to. That year the Crown Prince, Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great), decided to study the flute and Quantz became his teacher for several visits a year. Until 1741 Quantz remained at the Saxon Court in Dresden. He married Anna Rosina Carolina Schindler in 1737 and from 1739 he started making flutes.
When Frederick II became King of Prussia in 1740, Quantz finally accepted a position as flute teacher, flute maker and composer at the court in Berlin. He joined that court in December 1741 and stayed there for the rest of his career. He was an innovator in flute design, adding a second key (D#, in addition to the standard Eb) to help with intonation, for example. He often criticized Vivaldi for being too wild when he played.
Although Quantz wrote many pieces of music, mainly for the flute (including around 300 flute concertos and over 200 sonatas), he is best known today as the author of Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen (1752) (titled On Playing the Flute in English), a treatise on traverso flute playing. It is a valuable source of reference regarding performance practice and flute technique in the 18th century.
Quantz died in 1773 in Potsdam.
List of works
The works list was established by Horst Augsbach. QV stands for "Quantz Verzeichnis", and Anh. for Anhang (supplement) when the authenticity of the works is spurious.
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- Horst E. Gerke, Jühnder Mitteilungen, Vol. 18, Eigenverlag, October 2011, p. 603 (in the Archiv der Ev. Kirche Hannover).
- Biography with translated excerpts of Quantz's autobiography at the Elysium ensemble's website.
- H. Augsbach, Johann Joachim Quantz: Thematisch-systematisch Werkverzeichnis, (Stuttgart, Carus-Verlag, 1997)
- Reilly, Edward (1971). Quantz and his Versuch: three studies. Studies and documents (American Musicological Society), no. 5. New York American Musicological Society. OCLC 147901.
- Schmitz, Hans-Peter (1987). Quantz heute: Der "Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen" als Lehrbuch für unser Musizieren. Bärenreiter: Kassel. OCLC 17658485.
- Каchmarchyk, Vladimir. German flute art in XVIII-XIX centuries. Kyiv, 2009. Diss.
- Каchmarchyk, Vladimir. German flute art in XVIII-XIX centuries. Donetsk: Yugo-Vostok, 2008. ISBN 978-966-7271-44-2.
- Quantz, Johann Joachim (1985). On playing the flute (trans. by Edward R. Reilly) ((March 1, 2001) 2nd ed.). Northeastern. p. 423. ISBN 978-1-55553-473-8.
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