The title of this release is thoroughly misleading. The album contains nothing like the ''Complete Flute Sonatas'' of C. P. E. Bach but only those for flute with obbligato harpsichord, of which there are but five. Eleven others for flute and continuo are omitted, along with Bach's single work for unaccompanied flute. Instead, the remaining five sonatas in the programme consist of two (BWV1020 and 1031) whose authorship has long been a matter of dispute; a trio for flute, violin and bass (H578) in which the violin part has been taken over by the right hand of the keyboard; another (H543) in which a similar adjustment has been made to Bach's two differently scored originals; and a duet for violin and harpsichord (H504) in which the violin part is taken by the flute. So, you can see that the title of the album is somewhat economical with the truth, though the accompanying essay by Barthold Kuijken clarifies the position.– Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [5/1994]
Mozart's music for flute always seems to cause a twofold reaction. On the one hand, the music is undeniably beautiful, balanced and just a little more than what could be expected from the "gallant" style. On the other hand, note-writers are at pains to point out that Mozart apparently did not like the flute as an instrument and that in the case of the Flute Quartets, two of the four have not even been proved to be genuine Mozart.
This set, like others in Opus 111's Vivaldi Edition, aims to explore many of the composer's unpublished works housed in the National University Library in Turin. Even without the benefit of a PhD in musicology, however, the average consumer with modest expectations will find much to enjoy in this delightfully played collection… Kuijken and the Academia Montis Regalis play these concertos with the customary vigor and crispness we have come to expect of "period-style" Vivaldi recordings, and you even get excellent intonation and nicely balanced sound along with the bargain…
As Jan de Winne comments, the golden age of the transverse flute was 1740–80—though it hadn't done badly for many decades before that, no small thanks to mechanical improvements and the influential encouragement of, amongst others, Frederick the Great and prince elector Karl Theodor in Mannheim, both of whom were flautists…
– John Duarte, Gramophone
Mozart's music for flute always seems to cause a twofold reaction. On the one hand, the music is undeniably beautiful, balanced and just a little more than what could be expected from the "gallant" style. On the other hand, note-writers are at pains to point out that Mozart apparently did not like the flute as an instrument and that in the case of the Flute Quartets, two of the four have not even been proved to be genuine Mozart. I think this Accent CD makes a wonderful plea for this music despite the doubts of booklet author Pieter Andriessen. The music is taken "seriously" by the four performers, producing a stringent, but eminently lovely version, with not only Bart Kuijken in top form at the flute, but also with the three string players providing a sheer amazing amount of intelligent accompaniment in an acoustic which could hardly be more transparent and more pleasant to the ear. The age of the 1982 recording nowhere becomes apparent, the engineering is as superb as the playing - an absolutely crowning achievement within the Kuijkens' career as three of the foremost proponents of the "period performance" school.
Gustav Maria Leonhardt was one of the best-known leaders of the Early Music movement. A harpsichordist and organist and later a conductor, he was credited with being one of the most important figures in establishing the Netherlands as one of the main centers of period music performances. He had a classical education, then entered the Schola Cantorum in Basle. There he studied organ and harpsichord with Eduard Müller.
This is one of only two complete recordings of Telemann's Paris Quartets available as a single set, and is much superior to the old Bruggen set. The Kuijkens are all very stylish and engaging performers, and they play these works very well.
Telemann wrote a lot of very good chamber music, but these quartets show him at his best. They are full of wonderful melodies, and some amazing rhythmic quirks. If Telemann had not been so prolific, these works would be considered absolute masterpieces on the order of the Brandenburg Concertos of Bach. They are that good.