Versuch einer Anweisung die Flote traversiere zu spielen; mit verschiedenen, zur Beforderung des guten Geschmackes in der praktischen Musik dienlichen Anmerkungen begleitet, und mit Exempeln erlautert. Nebst XXIV. Kupfertafeln.
Breslau: Johann Friedrich Korn, 1780.
Two parts bound in one. Small quarto. Modern mid-brown cloth-backed marbled boards. 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 2ff. (dedication), 3ff. ("Vorrede," with printed date Berlin, September, 1752), xxiv plates of engraved music on 12ff., the first with a small vertical illustration of a flute; 1f. (recto half-title, verso blank), 334 pp. + ff. (index).
Fine woodcut headpiece to foreword and decorative woodcut rules throughout; occasional head- and tailpieces, some incorporating musical instruments; engraving to head of introduction.
Moderately browned; occasional foxing; very small wormhole to lower margin of first 18ff. Lacking half-title preceding engraved music, laid in in facsimile. Quite a good, wide-margined copy.
Second edition of the work first published in Berlin in 1752. Very scarce. Not in Gregory-Bartlett, Wolffheim, or Cortot. Miller p. 93. Hirsch I, 478. RISM BVI, 677 (rare outside of Germany, with only one copy recorded in the U.S,. at Chapel Hill, and only the British Library copy recorded in the U.K.).
"Quantz’s autobiography and other writings are of considerable interest, but his most significant contribution to music literature is unquestionably his Versuch (1752). Only five of its 18 chapters exclusively concern flautists; the others address general issues of interest to amateur instrumentalists in a way that is not only more comprehensive but also more concrete than ever before. Of the treatise’s three main parts, the first has attracted the most attention. It is devoted to performance on an individual instrument and includes aspects of ornamentation that Quantz divides into two principal types: essential graces (wesentliche Manieren), such as appoggiaturas and turns largely reflecting French influence, and arbitrary variation (willkürliche Veränderungen), reflecting the Italian practice of embellishing a melody, applicable only to certain types of adagio movements. It also includes the only almost contemporary account of the modifications made to the flute in the late 17th century and refers to Quantz’s own inventions regarding flute construction: the second key and the division of the head joint into two sections to create a tuning slide.
The second part reviews the responsibilities of the accompanying instruments and their leader, with discussion of orchestral seating plans, bowing and tempo. Quantz relates a pulse of about 80 beats per minute to specific note values in four basic tempo indications from allegro assai (one pulse beat per minim) to adagio assai (two pulse beats per quaver), making it clear, however, that the rule needs to be refined by other parameters and that it primarily applies to instrumental music.
The last part of the Versuch surveys the characteristics of Italian, French and German styles, and provides the reader with the foundation to evaluate both performers and compositions. Quantz’s approach of focussing on taste allows him a certain degree of theoretical freedom, which leads to an emphasis on thematic quality and organization rather than on harmony, texture and overall form. His discussion of national styles makes it clear that he believed German music included the best French and Italian elements, a combination he hoped would soon lead to a universal idiom.
The Versuch had a considerable influence on later German writers from C.P.E. Bach to D.G. Türk. While Quantz’s views cannot be considered absolute guides for the performance of late Baroque music, they certainly reflect many practices of the period from about 1725 to 1755 as cultivated in Dresden, then one of the finest musical establishments in Europe, and subsequently in Berlin." Edward R. Reilly, revised by Andreas Giger in Grove Music Online.
Price: $3,200.00 other currencies