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    W. K. Kreyszig: The Eminent Pedagogue Johann Joachim Quantz as Instructor of Frederick the Great During the Years 1728-1741

    Kulturgeschichte Preußens - Colloquien 6 (2018)

    Walter Kurt Kreyszig

    The Eminent Pedagogue Johann Joachim Quantz as Instructor of Frederick the Great During the Years 1728-1741:

    The Solfeggi, the Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversière zu spielen, and the Capricen, Fantasien und Anfangsstücke of Quantz, the Flötenbuch of Frederick the Great and Quantz, and the Achtundzwanzig Variationen über die Arie "Ich schlief, da träumte mir" of Quantz (QV 1:98)


    Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773), the flute instructor of Frederick the Great (1712-1786), played a seminal role in the development of the Prussian Court Music, during its formative years between 1713 and 1806. As a result of his lifetime appointment to the Court of Potsdam in 1741 by King Frederick the Great, Quantz was involved in numerous facets of the cultural endeavors at the Court, including his contributions to composition, performance and organology. Nowhere was his presence more acutely felt than in his formulation of music-pedagogical materials an activity where his knowledge as a preminent pedagogue and his skills as a composer, organologist and performer fused together in most astounding fashion. Quantz’s effectiveness in his teaching of his most eminent student, Frederick the Great, is fully borne out in a number of documents, including the Solfeggi, the Versuch, the Caprices, Fantasien und Anfangsstücke, and the Achtundzwanzig Variationen über die Arie "Ich schlief, da träumte mir". While each document touches on different aspects of the musical discipline, these sources vividly underscore the intersection between musica theorica and musica practica and as such provide testimony of Johann Joachim Quantz as a genuine musicus.

    Keywords: compositional practice, flute repertory, instruction manuals, musicus, organology, performance practices, Johann Joachim Quantz as musicus


    Among the principal treatises of the mid eighteenth century1, the Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiëre zu spielen (1752) of Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) enjoyed the widest dissemination across Europe2. The various editions of the original and the considerable number of foreign-language translations of this seminal document received endorsement, judging from the comments of contemporaries, among them Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) in his Versuch (1753-1762)3, Johann Adam Hiller (1728-1804) in his Lebensbeschreibungen (1784)4, and Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (1718-1795) in his Historisch-kritische Beyträge (1754-1788)5 as well as later composers, among them Quantz’s successor in the Dresden Orchestra, Moritz Fürstenau (1824-1889) in his Beiträge (1849)6. The authors identified in Table 1 share similar approaches with regard to the comprehensive coverage of a plethora of topics, closely connected with the principal theme of the respective volumes, including the history and organological properties of the instrument, issues of physiology pertaining to the posture and embouchure of the performer, the fingerings of the gamut, the interpretation of various instrumental genres, including sonata and the concerto, pedagogy, theory and rhetoric.


    Quantz achievied notoriety in several realms of the discipline of music7, specifically as a virtuoso performer on the flute, as an eminent pedagogue and author of pedagogical tools, including the Solfeggi8, the Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversière zu spielen9, and the Capricen, Fantasien und Anfangsstücke of Quantz10, the Flötenbuch of Frederick the Great (1712-1786) and Quantz11, and the Achtundzwanzig Variationen über die Arie "Ich schlief, da träumte mir" of Quantz (QV 1:98)12, as a composer of a large body of flute works13, comprising solo sonatas14, trio sonatas15 and concertos16, as an organologist17, with his most notable contribution in the introduction of a second key, the d-flat key, during his sojourn in Paris18, and the addition of corps de rechange (up to six middle pierces as a means of overcoming significant differences in pitch which had been adjusted by the pushing in or pulling out the cork screw at the end of the tube)19. With these accomplishments, Quantz was in a position of pre-eminence in singlehandedly exploring the facets of his principal instrument, both from the perspective of the practitioner (performer and composer)20 and theorist, with these realms of the inquiry circumscribed in the designation of the musicus, a term which had originated during the era of Renaissance humanism, in identifying important contributors to the disciplina musicae, who were conversant in both musica speculativa and musica practica21. Indeed, Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748) identified Quantz’s embracement of the qualities of the eighteenth-century professional musician22 as "ein musicus auf der Flûte traversière in der Königlichen Capelle und Cammer-Music zu Dresden anno 1729"23, with Quantz’s latter sphere of influence extending beyond Dresden24.

    Johann Joachim Quantz and Frederick the Great: A Cordial Relationship


    The development of Prussian Court Music prior to the Seven-Year-War (1754-1763) was made possible to a large extent by the composer, flutist, organologist, and pedagogue Johann Joachim Quantz. On the occasion of a visit of Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia with his father to the Court of Dresden, with its rich performance tradition25, indeed a principal center for both the dissemination of the contemporary instrumental concerto26 and the development of a practice of ornamentation27, Quantz made his first acquaintance with his future employer and student, King Frederick the Great28, who himself eventually attained notoriety as performer29 and composer30. Quantz’s display of his virtuosity on the flute as part of the entourage of August der Starke during a visit to Berlin in May 1728 resulted in an invitation for Quantz to join the Prussian State Court, though, owing to the refusal of the Dresden Court to approve Quantz’s permanent departure from Dresden, Quantz was initially granted permission to travel to Berlin twice annually, prior to his permanent lifetime appointment to the Court in Potsdam in 174131. Quantz’s new manifold duties in Berlin included the organizing of the Hauskonzerte at court32, in which Quantz participated on flute, provided a second flute part as was called for, with Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach on clavichord33, and Franz Benda on violin34 — as documented in the famous mid-nineteenth-century painting titled "Flötenkonzert Friedrich des Großen" (1850/1852) by Adolf Menzel (1815-1905), on display at the Nationalgallerie of the Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin35.

    The Solfeggi of Johann Joachim Quantz


    A record of the lessons which Frederick the Great enjoyed with his teacher Quantz between 1729 and 1741, the instrumental Solfeggi of Quantz36 were inspired by contemporary vocal exercises, initially circulating in the seventeenth century in singer’s manuals (Singfundamente) of Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1741)37 and Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704)38 and subsequently composed under the title of Solfeggi, such as those of Naples provenance written by Giuseppe Aprile (1732-1813)39, Pasquale Cafaro (1715/16-1787)40, Francesco Durante (1684-1755)41, Christoph Wilibald Gluck (1714-1787)42, Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783)43, Giacomo Insanguine (1728-1793 )44, Leonardo Leo (1694-1744)45, Antonio Maria Mazzoni (1717-1785)46, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)47, David Perez (1711-1778)48, Nicola Porpora (1686-1768)49, Nicola Sala (1713-1801)50, and Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)51. Both seventeenth- and eighteenth-century vocal solfeggios serve on the one hand as the basis for the voice engaged in imitating the instrumental sound and on the other hand as a point of departure for the "instrumentalization" of vocal music, with the latter development beginning in the 1720s52. This fluidity between vocal and instrumental music is fully borne out in the Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversière zu spielen of Quantz, with the author’s numerous references to both musical instruments and the human voice53. In the case of the Solfeggi of Quantz, the sole extant handwritten copy of this important document was presumably prepared by Augustin Neuff (died in 1792), a student of Quantz, who along with Johann Joseph Friedrich Lindner (1730-1790) had served as chamber musician at the Prussian Court in Berlin, respectively from 1754 to 1792 and 1750 to ca. 178954. The handwritten copy of the Solfeggi, dated ca. 1789, preserved as Manuscript Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibiotek Mus. 6210.2528, as part of the Gieddes Samling 1.1655, provides a curriculum for eighteenth-century flute instruction56, and that both within the Berlin Flute School, and beyond, and as such underscores the vast knowledge and astute pedagogical skills of its author, Quantz57, who in turn adopted much of his ideas on ornamentation from the earlier completed Versuch58. In fact, in his pursuit of the close affinity between compositional practice and pedagogy, Quantz set the stage for the subsequent musical discourse, as readily seen in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Versuch and Solfeggio in c-minor for clavier59.

    The Solfeggi of Johann Joachim Quantz in the Context of His Cosmopolitanism


    The Solfeggi, this little known source which Quantz began compiling presumably at the age of thirty-two in 172960, prior to the completion of the Versuch, displays his musical cosmopolitanism, resulting from his travels to England, France, and Italy, where he had become acquainted with a vast body of solo, chamber and orchestral repertories. Already in 1714, while engaged as flutist in the city band of Pirna, he became familiar with the violin concertos of Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)61, who modelled most of his outer movements after the Italian ritornello form62, which Quantz emulated in most of his own concertos. During his three-month stay in Vienna in 1717, he studied composition with Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1754)63, a prolific contributor to chamber music and a staunch defender of the traditions of species counterpoint and imitative counterpoint64 set forth by Johann Joseph Fux in his monumental Gradus ad Parnassum released in printed form in Vienna in 172565. During his brief employment as oboist in the Polish Kapelle of August II, Quantz took private lessons with Pierre Gabriel Buffardin (ca. 1690-1768), the principal flutist of the Royal Kapelle in Dresden66. In his early years, Quantz was attracted to the culture of Italy, which explains the continuation of his earlier studies in composition with Francesco Gasparini (1661-1727)67 in Rome in 1724. During his sojourn in Naples at the beginning of 1725, Quantz stayed with the noted composer of operas, oratorios, liturgical music and instrumental repertories, Johann Adolf Hasse68. In fact, Hasse introduced Quantz to Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725), who wrote several flute soli in the stile galant69 for Quantz70 — that compositional style which prevailed in most of Quantz’s own oeuvre. At the beginning of 1726, Quantz undertook an extended journey through Italy with stops in Modena, Reggio, Parma, Milan, and Turin, as well as France, with visits to Geneva and Lyons prior to his lengthier stay in Paris, where he befriended the French flutist Michel Blavet (1700-1768)71 and devoted considerable time to the improvement of the transverse flute, especially in the introduction of the aforementioned db-key. Quantz concluded this major trip with a brief stay in London in 1727, where he acquainted himself with the operatic oeuvre of George Frederick Handel (1685-1759)72, which left an undeniable influence on his own compositions in the genres of the sonata and the concerto. After his return to Dresden and the resumption of his position in the Hofkapelle of the Dresden Court, Quantz was appointed principal flutist to this ensemble in March 1728, three months prior to his important meeting with Frederick the Great.


    Beyond the composers already identified, with whom Quantz came into close contact during his aforementioned visits, both Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)73, as a member of the Berlin School74, and Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770)75 played an equally important role in his music pedagogy, with references to their respective instrumental repertories surfacing in Quantz’s Solfeggi76. Interspersed within the numerous musical excerpts mentioned are written comments emanating from the pen of Quantz, and the occasional complete movements, largely from Quantz’s own workshop, which serve as a means of placing technical aspects discussed in the context of the prevailing flute repertory. In the Solfeggi Quantz includes solo pieces, duets and trios, with the latter two genres generally devoid of extensive ornamentation – a topic to which he returns in the preface of his Duets for two flutes without basso continuo, op. 2 (QV 3:2), published in Berlin in 1759, in which he cautions against the excessive use of ornamentation, so as to preserve the already rich counterpoint, controlled by the reliance on imitative textures, largely of a strict type77. Already in his Versuch Quantz had described the imitative textures as the so-called gearbeitete Musik (worked-out music), in essence music with an emphasis on a contrapuntal style of composition, observed in the duets of Giuseppe Tartini and Carl Heinrich Graun (1704-1759)78, presumably in anticipation of the Gelehrsamkeit (learned counterpoint)79. And here Quantz sets his own duets with their strict canonic practices of the gearbeitete Musik distinctly apart from those Italianate duets of Telemann80, who often features two instruments not in a strict contrapuntal idiom but rather in the stile galant idiom81.

    The Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversière zu spielen (Berlin 1752)


    In his Versuch Johann Joachim Quantz devotes considerable attention to the topic of the melodic "diminutiones" and that in a most systematic fashion, appending his theoretical discourse with a series of abstract tables. In these tables he discloses a practical guide, of a systematic nature, for the "diminutiones" of simple intervallic structures, the main feature of melodies82 or Klangreden83, in reference to Johann Mattheson’s Der vollkommene Capellmeister (Hamburg, 1739)84 in the realm of monody. In the aforementioned tables, Quantz does not provide the necessary harmonic frame against which the individual examples of diminutiones need to be interpreted. The design of the melody, viewed as an integral part of the Affektenlehre85, embraces the Figurenlehre86, as an extension of the principles of rhetoric87. Rhetoric in turn serves as an anchor for the pedagogy of performance practice, including the teaching of ornamentation as an effective enhancement of the music and the codification of an emerging rigorous theory of articulation. Mattheson calls this theory of articulation the Incisionslehre, a concept applicable to both vocal and instrumental genres88, the latter which he also places within the examination of ornamentation in his Der vollkommene Capellmeister89.

    The Adagio for flute and basso continuo in C-Major, QV 1:7 of Johann Joachim Quantz: The Fusion of Theory and Practice in his Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversière zu spielen


    Quantz, at the conclusion of the tables with accompanying explanatory commentary in his Versuch90, in part responds to the negligence concerning the absence of the basso continuo by including his own Adagio for flute and basso continuo in C-Major, QV 1:791. Quantz places many of the "diminutiones" presented earlier in the treatise in the appropriate harmonic context with letters below and above each measure of this composition, referring to the particular "diminutiones" as found in the aforementioned ornamentation tables92. This approach allows the student, including Frederick the Great, to benefit from a thoroughly pedagogical approach to the seminal topic of the "diminutiones", placed against an unrealized, moderately figured basso continuo serving as a backdrop to a comprehensive exploration of the art of ornamentation in a movement thoroughly steeped in the juxtaposition of the French and Italian styles of composition93, what Quantz himself calls the "stilus mixtus"94, not restricted to flute music but also found in eighteenth-century violin repertory95. For clarity of approach Quantz presents the flute part of the Adagio in two versions, that is, a plain version with no ornamentation and a highly ornate version in superimposition, with this facet of his pedagogy, though unacknowledged, presumably derived from Georg Philipp Telemann’s Methodische Sonaten (Hamburg 1728, 1732)96, in which the opening slow movement of each sonata is subjected to the same disposition of plain and ornate versions of the melody97, without recourse to an ornamentation table98.


    In these flute sonatas — with Telemann’s contribution to the genre of the flute sonata studied and admired by Frederick the Great99 and also praised by Quantz on a number of occasions in his Versuch100 — the absence of ornamentation tables allows Telemann to employ the embellishments, both in short-hand and fully notated form, in a less rigid manner, which provides considerable enhancement of the monodic idiom prevalent in these slow movements101. With this arrangement, Telemann underscores the distinctly pedagogical intent of this collection of sonatas, as readily gleaned from the title pages of the publication featuring a fusion of multiple styles, especially of French and Italian idioms in the so-called "stilus mixtus"102 a hallmark of Telemann's compositional practice which is also prominently displayed in his XII Solos, à Violon où Traversière, avec la Basse chiffrée (Hamburg 1734)103. In fact, it was Telemann’s most artful handling of the fusion of styles, which in all likelihood attracted both Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)104 and George Frederic Handel105 a fact which in turn accounts for the appearance of their names on subscription lists of Telemann’s œuvre106.

    The Caprices, Fantasien und Anfangsstücke of Johann Joachim Quantz


    In his collection entitled Caprices, Fantasien und Anfangsstücke (undated)107, which survives merely in the hand of an eighteenth-century anonymous copyist, Quantz illustrates the compositional technique of "diminutiones" in the context of theme and variations108 — a genre which is one of the hallmarks throughout the common-practice period. The Sarabande with its characteristic 3/4 meter in stile francese109 and implying a slower tempo with three substantial beats per "tactus"110, serves as a basis for a series of variations, under the heading of double111, a term commonly used during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with several connotations. On the one hand, the term double, synonymous with the terms diminutiones and divisions, refers to a technique of variation, whereby elaborate ornamentation is added to a melody, for example, to a dance tune, with the ornamentation reinforcing the supporting or implied (in the case of solo repertory) of the original tune. On the other hand, the term double also denotes the embellished melody itself and thus serves as a movement designation.


    The aforementioned collection of Quantz includes a set of two variations on a Menuet112, a rather unusual procedure in resorting to a Menuet as a basis for a set of variations, with the addition of l’inconnu, signalling the doubtful attribution of this composition, perhaps emanating from the hand of Michel Blavet (1700-1768)113, who had begun his career as a virtuoso on the flute with appearances, from 1726 onward, in the famous Paris concert series, the Concerts spirituel114. The Menuet, cast in two strains of eight and sixteen bars, respectively, displays a heavy reliance on internal repetitions of a one-measure motif, in essence mirroring the dance steps embracing four tiny dance steps in 6/4 meter, and musically set to two-measure units in 3/4 meter. The ensuing variations with their display of virtuosity in the articulation of repeated notes (in Variation I), in imitation of the trillo of seventeenth-century Italian vocal repertory in the bel canto idiom, and short melodic cells treated motivically in Variation II signal the advent of the independent concert etude.


    Beyond those pieces focused on the "diminutiones", Quantz devotes considerable attention to issues of national styles and their representation in the thematic/motivic structures of melody. In the Adagio (No. 52)115, Quantz resorts to the dotted rhythm of the French ouverture, without specifying regular dotting or overdotting (notes inégales)116. The Vivace with the addition alla francese (Piece No. 10)117 leaves the listener with no doubt as to the origin of this movement. Here, the dotted rhythms, a hallmark of the French style, are strategically placed so as to identify approximately the midpoint as well as to articulate the beginning and ending of the piece. The remainder of this movement anticipates the Praeludium (Piece No. 15)118 in its virtuoso writing with the deliberately brief melodic motifs, some of which receive treatment as melodic sequences — with Quantz all in all exploring the stylistic features of the Italianate writing. This particular Praeludium, notwithstanding the inclusion in the aforementioned publication, also appears in a manuscript, destroyed in World War II as part of the inventory of the Hessische Staats- und Landesbibliothek in Darmstadt, captures in a nutshell the technical aspects of eighteenth-century flute repertory, including double tonguing, high notes, legato octaves, trills, "diminutiones" unfolding within scalar passages and arpeggiations in both regular and triplet figurations.

    The Flötenbuch (pre 1773) of Frederick the Great and Johann Joachim Quantz


    The importance of a third undated volume, the Flötenbuch Friedrich des Grossen, komponiert von Friedrich dem Grossen und Johann Joachim Quantz119, is underscored by the eminent Charles Burney (1726-1814), a great admirer of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the harpsichordist of the Court Chapel of King Frederick the Great120. Burney, in his Diary of a Musical Tour of 1773, providing a terminus postquem for the completion of the Flötenbuch, reflects on his own visit to the court, and that in the context of a description of his visit to the concert hall of the Neues Palais in Potsdam.


    "On the table lay a catalogue of concertos for the New Palace, and a book of manuscript Solfeggi, as his Majesty calls them, or preludes, composed of difficult divisions and passages for the exercise of the hand, as the vocal Solfeggi are for the throat. His Majesty has books of this kind, for the use of his flute, in the music room of every one of his palaces"121.


    Mentioned only twice in eighteenth-century sources, namely by Johann Christoph Westphal (1729-1799) in his Verzeichnis (1782)122 and by Johann Traeg (1747-1805) in his Verzeichniss (1799)123, the Flötenbuch Friedrich des Grossen was considered an important document in the late-eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century. In the Musicalisches Kunstmagazin (1791), Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752-1814), who had assumed the position of Kapellmeister of the Berlin Court Orchestra in 1786124, described the daily musical endeavors of King Frederick the Great — in short, a routine which consisted of daily exercises and specimens of the repertory, composed largely by both Quantz and the King himself, with the King, in his own contributions, obviously inspired by his teacher125.


    "The morning exercises consisted generally in the practice of a long table by Quantz, which consisted of a variety of permutations of the scale. He first played the natural scales d, e, f-sharp, g, a, b, c-sharp, d, etc., then d-f-sharp, e-g, f-sharp-a, g-b, a-c-sharp, b-d, c-sharp-e, d, etc., then d-e-f-sharp, e-f-sharp-g, f-sharp-g-a, etc., then d-e-f-sharp-d, e-f-sharp-g-e; F-sharp-g-a-f-sharp, etc. through all the octaves, and then again from top to bottom, before proceeding similarly with the semitones; he did the same thing every day […] The King used to play the flute four or five times [a day]. He first reached for the flute immediately after rising. He practiced after listening to the reports of his cabinet. He played once again after dining, and, in the evening, he would generally practice the six concertos — the number was reduced to three or four during the last ten to fifteen years — and he intended to play that evening with his chamber musicians. […]"126


    These exercises, compiled in Das Flötenbuch Friedrich des Grossen, are most unusual for the time, which explains their explicit mention in a number of later sources, including the eminent lexicographer Ernst Ludwig Gerber (1746-1819) in his Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon (1790)127 and the Bach biographer Philipp Spitta (1841-1894) in the preface of his editions of the works of Frederick the Great (Leipzig, 1899)128. Spitta is explicit in stating that "furthermore, a book of flute solfeggi written by a copyist and located at the Sanssouci Palace contains entries added by the King himself." Of the no longer extant Solfeggi grouped in four books, three copies were made, respectively inscribed in the three places where the King spent most of his time, that is, Potsdam, Sanssouci, and Charlottenburg — with these inscriptions obviously attesting to the significance and easy accessibility of these important materials.


    Interspersed within the exercises of Johann Joachim Quantz are the King’s autograph additions of pieces, all of which are identified in Table 4. Attesting to the self-imposed artistic and technical demands, these exercises, including those prepared in collaboration between Quantz and his illustrious student, and a number of solfeggi transmitted in the autograph of Frederick the Great, provide an overview of important skills achieved through the practice of arpeggiation, ornamentation, transposition, and articulation, with the latter not explicitly indicated in the music — skills that are cast within the context of musical formulae found in the eighteenth-century solo, chamber and orchestral repertories for the flute, including the rich and diverse contributions of Quantz. While the Solfeggi from the pen of Frederick the Great reflect a tendency to move within the realm of diatonicism, with a preponderance for arpeggiations and scale passages, those Solfeggi emanating from the collaboration between teacher and student indicate a widening of the tonal horizon, presumably at the encouragement of the teacher, with the exploration of chromaticism, embedded both within the minor tonality and beyond, as is readily seen in Solfeggio 51129.


    That the Flötenbuch left an undeniable impact on the pedagogical instruction of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries becomes apparent on the one hand from Doris Geller’s addition of a second flute part130, serving as a contrapuntal enhancement of the original with the two parts shared by teacher and student, and, on the other hand, from the Solfeggi in celebration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the King’s birthday in 2012131, by the composer and horn player of the Jena Philharmonic, Gisbert Näther, a free extemporization on Solfeggi 67 from the Flötenbuch of Frederick the Great and Quantz132.


    Notwithstanding the emphasis both Quantz and Frederick the Great placed on the "diminutiones" in the context of perfecting one’s technical skills and interpretive versality, contemporary views on ornamentation were on occasion of a more guarded nature. For example, in the entry on "Adagio" included in the Dictionarium musica (1770), John Binns, also known under the pseudonym John Hoyle (ca. 1744-1796), sounded a cautionary note against an excessive use of ornamentation in the definition of this term.


    "Adagio, or by way of abbreviation Adag or AD, is the slowest movement in Musick, especially if the word is repeated twice over, as Adagio, Adagio. It is a prevailing custom amongst many performers, when they come to an Adagio, (as it is slow, and consequently easy) to throw out favourite passages, which entirely destroys the true harmony and intention of the composer"133.


    With this comment, Hoyle seems to warn against virtuosity, within the instrumental and vocal realms, with restrictions introduced by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) in the operatic reforms of the 1750s, so as to place utmost emphasis on the expressiveness of the melodies, and at a more profound level underscoring the passion of the soul — central also to the overall aesthetics of both Quantz134 and Frederick the Great135, an aesthetic firmly rooted in the compositional practice and also guided by the music pedagogy of the mid-eighteenth century.

    The Solo traverso col basso: Achtundzwanzig Variationen über die Arie Ich schlief,da träumte mir del Signore Quantz (QV 1:98)


    Quantz’s superior command of the art of the "diminutio", both form a practical point of view, especially from his command on the flute, as attested to by his contemporaries and immediate successors, among them Johann Georg Tromlitz (1725-1805)136, and from a theoretical perspective, as readily gleaned from the seminal music pedagogical documents discussed in this paper, is not limited to his fully notated example of the Adagio for flute and basso continuo in C-Major, QV 1:7, based on the comprehensive ornamentation tables in his Versuch preceding the example itself. Beyond this Adagio, a manuscript in the Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin with the title Solo traverso col basso. Achtundzwanzig Variationen über die Arie "Ich schlief, da träumte mir" del Signore Quantz (QV 1:98)137, provides a further testimony to Quantz’s skillful handling of the art of diminution. This set of twenty-eight variations on a popular theme, which also attracted the attention of three other members of the Berlin circle, that is Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach138, Johann Philipp Kirnberger (1721-1783)139 and Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg140, to compose keyboard variations, represents a rarity in the compositional oeuvre of Quantz.


    In this set of variations, Quantz, on the one hand, attests to the advanced level of the contemporary artistry on the flute, while, on the other hand, he provides a superb illustration of the art of "diminutiones" carefully integrated within the overall layout of this large-scale composition, with many "diminutiones" set in the score displaying a close link to his Solfeggi, the Capricen, Fantasien und Anfangsstücke and the Flötenbuch of Frederick the Great, compiled under his guidance. Here, the theme with its unusual phrase structure (8+8+2 measures) serves as a basis for a multitude of "diminutiones", comprised by and large of arpeggiations and scales as well as the occasional trills and mordents, however without ever surpassing the melodic/harmonic frame of the theme. Flute and keyboard alternate in the presentation of the Baroque figures, and as such in the function of principal voice and accompaniment — what amounts to a rich and diverse layout of the individual variations and of the composition as a whole.


    In light of the fact that the ten hitherto extant autograph sores of Quantz’s sonatas for flute and basso continuo, identified in a catalogue by Georg Thouret (1855-1924)141, and the modern editions of relatively few of Quantz’s solo works, chamber music and concertos, are almost completely devoid of "diminutiones", with the exception of occasional trills and appogggiaturas, the pedagogical materials of Quantz along with the manuscript of the Achtundzwanzig Variationen über die Arie "Ich schlief, da träumte mir" (QV 1:98), offering small-scale and large-scale "diminutiones", provide vivid insight into contemporary performance practice, which, in line with contemporary conventions, received little attention in the actual autographs and subsequent printed editions of Baroque instrumental repertories. And viewed in a broader context, Quantz’s theoretical discourse and related practical applications disclosed in the Solfeggi, the Versuch, the Capricen, Fantasien und Anfangsstücke, the Flötenbuch, and the Achtundzwanzig Variationen über die Arie "Ich schlief da träumte mir" für Flöte und Basso continuo . attest to the level of competency expected of the professional musician of the eighteenth century, in essence continuing a tradition of excellence dating back to at least the sixteenth century142.


    Prof. Dr. Walter Kurt Kreyszig
    Department of Music, University of Saskatchewan
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada