The members of Pro Musica Rara seem of late to be particularly interested in music written for the court of the flute-playing Frederick the Great of Prussia. Such was the case at a concert earlier this winter and such was the case at PMR's fine concert yesterday afternoon at Lovely Lane Methodist Church.
It presented music by Johann Joachim Quantz and Johann Adolph Hasse, the two leading musical lights of Frederick's court, and music by some of the composers who formed their taste.
Quantz's Sonata in C for Flute and Recorder, the first piece on the program, received a performance in which Sara Landgren, ** flute, and Leslie Starr, recorder, partnered each other expertly. Some of the playing wasn't always in tune -- it rarely is on pitch-betraying early instruments -- but it was always lively and (in the slow movement) moving and intense. Landgren also played the solo
part in the Concerto for Flute and Strings in B Minor that Hasse wrote for his royal master. It is hard to imagine that Frederick could have matched her taste and virtuosity.
There were several other fine solo performances yesterday afternoon. Hornist Mary Bisson played Telemann's beautiful Concerto in D. Given the circumstance that she played on the hazardous valveless horn of the period, Bisson's driven, exciting and musical performance was nothing less than heroic. Starr played the solo part in Alessandro Scarlatti's Quartetto in F for recorder and strings quite beautifully, and Amy Rosser made some harpsichord pieces by Jean-Philippe Rameau most expressive.