Tuesday, March 3, 2015

'Quantz Solo Flute Music' is the Debut Solo CD of Acclaimed Flutist Eric Lamb, a Native of Detroit Who is a Co-founder of Ensemble Paladino in Vienna

Quantz Solo Flute Music
Eric Lamb, Flute
Paladino Music PMR 0060 (2015)

Eric Lamb is a highly accomplished American flutist who was born in Detroit July 27, 1978. He is a founding member of Ensemble Paladino, which is based at ORF Radiokulturhaus in Vienna.  His website is  www.fluteaddict.weebly.com.

Eric has begun 2015 with the release of two CDs, Quantz Solo Flute Music PMR 0060 and Mozart (re)inventions PMR 0050.  The Johann Joachim Quantz disc was recorded November 4 and  5, 2014 at 4tune studio, Vienna, Austria.  
Mozart and Quantz may be said to be near opposing ends of the spectrum of music recordings.  Major music websites such as ArkivMusic.com and Amazon.com offer at least 100 Mozart recordings for every Quantz recording. ArkivMusic.com, for example, offers 69 Quantz recordings and 7,409 Mozart recordings.
We have a strong personal interest in learning of composers whose works have never been properly recognized, or have gained recognition but have subsequently fallen into unjustified neglect.  Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) appears to be in the second category. In choosing to perform and record some of his lesser known works, flutist Eric Lamb is presenting repertoire which was performed and enjoyed two centuries ago in royal courts of Germany and elsewhere.
Eric Lamb writes in the liner notes:
“I am proud to present a rarely heard collection of 15 solo flute pieces (Fantasies, Minuets, Sarabandes etc.) and a complete performance of his 8 Caprices. The source of this performance is the manuscript preserved by the Royal Library of Copenhagen under the title Fantasier og Preludier, 8Capricierog andre Stykker til Ovelse for Floyten al Quantz. After further research, it came to my attention that a few of these pieces found in this incredibly rich volume of music were indeed not originally Quantz’ but most probably by Johann Martin Blochwitz (1678-1742), a flutist and composer of the Dresden Hofkapelle or by the great french flutist Michel Blavet (1700-1768).”  He adds: “It is a wonder to me that these little gems are not more often taught and performed.”                                                                
Eric Lamb’s website and the liner notes for this CD list his multiple
roles in the world of music: “soloist, recitalist, concert curator and chamber musician.” The website continues: “He has premiered more than 200 works and has worked closely with composers John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, George Lewis, Marc-Andres Dalbavie, Matthias Pintscher, Reinbert de Leeuw, Michel van der Aa, Nico Muhly, Ben Foskett and conductors Vladamir Ashkenazy, Ludovic Morlot, Pablo Heras-Casado, Steve Schick, Susanna Mälkki and Pierre Laurent-Aimard.”

The website adds: “Eric has performed with a long list of the worlds most important orchestras and ensembles.”  Several European orchestras are mentioned, as well as the “American Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra.”  “Until 2013, Eric performed extensively as a core member of the New York/Chicago based International Contemporary Ensemble - ICE.  He continues to be a much sought after pedagogue and is regularly invited to present workshops, master classes and lectures throughout Europe and the US.”
Eric Lamb’s website describes his musical education as follows: ”Eric completed his musical studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he was a student of Michel Debost. He then continued at the Hochschule für Musik Frankfurt am Main with Thaddeus Watson and later at the Sculoa di Musica di Fiesole, Italy with Chiara Tonelli.”

We also learn from the website that “Eric is an Altus performing artist and lives in Vienna.”  One of the music websites we happened upon is RadioTimesCDs.com: “American flautist Eric Lamb releases his long-awaited first solo album with music by Johann Joachim Quantz (1697–1773), one of the teachers of Frederick the Great. Quantz’s eight caprices are framed by little pieces such as fantasias and preludes as well as elaborate variation cycles.”
The first track is: Vivace Alla Francese In D Major, QV 3:1.3 (1:38).  Our first impression was one of light, playful music. The early tracks remain our favorites, but we have enjoyed hearing the entire disc many times. We have added the CD to our music player, and fully expect to listen to it regularly.
We are not alone in savoring Eric Lamb’s playing; some of his YouTube videos have been watched thousands of times. Our appreciation for Eric Lamb’s debut solo CD is enhanced by our respect for his decision to perform beautiful music by an historic composer whose life and works no longer receive the attention they commanded during his career, as well as his scholarly research into the original manuscript at the Royal Library of Copenhagen.  

Disclosure: A review copy of this recording was provided by the record label.

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