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Records International, October 2020

Frederick II, King of Prussia, was a gifted musician who built up a court orchestra noted both for its quality and its size. A patron of the fine arts, Frederick was a highly accomplished flautist whose works, performed in small private concerts, show a remarkable range of forms and expressive effects with slow movements offering long-breathed arcs of melody. The pieces by De Marchi, conceived in the spirit of improvisation, provide a revealing impression of contemporary performance practice. © 2020 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2020

After years of neglect by his father, Frederick the Great set about restoring the place of high esteem that music had previously enjoyed at the Royal Court in Berlin.

Already a highly talented performer and composer, one of his first aims was to restore the court opera together with the founding a new orchestra. As a performer, he was to present chamber music concerts at the Palace in Potsdam as a flute virtuoso, often playing his own works. A sample of his compositions comes with the six sonatas included in this new release, each in the conventional three movements of contrasting tempos. They certainly needed an extremely skilled performer, particularly when performed on early eighteenth century instruments. With that backdrop, it is fitting that the soloist, Claudia Stein, became the principal flute of the Staatskapelle Berlin—the orchestra Frederick founded—when she was just 23, and nowadays is seen as a major concert soloist. Her performances make the music vibrant and wonderfully fresh, chosen tempos requiring considerable agility, particularly in the finales, the dazzling Presto to the A major a stunning example. It is equally appropriate that the bass continuo comes from Andreas Gregor, the first cellist of the Staatskapelle. Completing the trio, Alessandro De Marchi plays a replica of the Silbermann Fortepiano that would have been at Frederick’s court. He also adds his own compositions cast in that period, and a short work by the German music critic of the time, Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg. Very good sound quality from Berlin last year. © 2020 David’s Review Corner

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