BOISMORTIER: Six Concertos for Five Flutes, Op. 15 (1725) – Stephen Schultz, all flutes – Dorian Sono Luminus DSL-90803 *****:
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier – who was one of the few composers of his time to make a living entirely by writing music instead of having patrons – created a unique collection of pieces in his Opus 15. He was a fan of the transverse flute and frequently wrote for the instrument. The other thing that is unique about this recording is that flute virtuoso Stephen Schultz has recorded all five flute parts himself via overdubbing. He plays a baroque wooden flute made by a San Francisco instrument maker and patterned on a 1760 original. To my ears the timbre is just the opposite of the typical baroque violin – more mellow and less steeling-sounding than the modern metal flute.
Schultz teaches flute and music history at Carnegie Mellon University and directs their Baroque Orchestra. His playing is flawless and brings great life to these delightful little three-movement concertos. While I didn’t have a copy of one of the other recordings with five flutists, I would guess the smooth ensemble sound with the five flutes spread out in front of you on the sound stage benefits from their all being playing by the same performer! Very highly recommended!
TrackList: Concerto No. 1 in G Major; Concerto No. 2 in A minor; Concerto No. 3 in D Major; Concerto No. 4 in B minor; Concerto No. 5 in A major; Concerto No. 6 in E minor.
– John Sunier