With Georg Metzger, a composer of the 18th century has been rediscovered whose entire first recording of his stylistically diverse flute concertos is really worthwhile. Born in Philippsburg near Karlsruhe, Johann Georg Metzger (1746-1794), composer and flautist in the Mannheim court orchestra, was highly regarded and respected at the time. His flute concertos, composed or published between 1779 and 1787, i.e. mainly after the Mannheim court moved to Munich in 1778 and the Mannheim court orchestra merged with the Munich court orchestra, are among the latest of the Mannheim school. They are characterized by openness to unconventional twists, spontaneity and a love of tonal experimentation. Unlike the works of his teacher Johann Baptist Wendling and numerous other flute concertos from the Mannheim period, the orchestra steps out of its accompanying role and is an equal partner to the solo flute.
"One particularly admired this artist's beautiful, round, pleasing,
sweet flute tone, his ease in handling this wind instrument, his skill, in short his art, in which very few equaled him, perhaps no one surpassed him."
About Georg Metzger in Felix Joseph Lipowsky: Bavarian Music Lexicon (Munich 1811)
*** Nominated for the best list in the German Record Critics' Award ***
“It is a pioneering act that Johannes Hustedt has undertaken together with Sebastian Tewinkel and the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim. A recording of all of Georg Metzger's flute concertos is available for the first time, eight in number. The rapid and rhythmically accentuated theme of the first movement of the 1st concerto, op. 2, takes the listener along. It's easy to grasp and creates a relaxed atmosphere. It's cantabile, singable. There's no virtuoso surprise. The dynamics are excellently balanced, and the transparency is maintained even in the denser, chromatic passages of the last two concerts.”
Jens Wehn, Badische Neueste Nachrichten, January 31, 2022
"A world of different moods and passions, played with verve, freshness and depth, original, sounds simply beautiful."
Jennifer Warzecha, Durlach Weekly Journal, February 11, 2022
"Listening up to the last note"
Marc Treue, Karlsruhe University of Music, February 8th, 2022
"This music combines the profound with lightness, grace and beauty."
Philippsburger Stadtanzeiger, March 4th, 2022
“Incredible joy and excitement”
Pforzheim courier, March 16, 2022
"Dynamic contrasts in a very small space, melodic inventiveness and surprising harmonic ideas - together with scientifically founded introductions by Hustedt in the booklet.
Metzger's Concerto in G major, Op.2, for example, impresses in the Allegro with its brisk solo drive, which Hustedt presents with almost cheerful ease. A broad, lyrically melodic Adagio, finely underlined by the orchestra, follows. The emphatically dance-like rondo is garnished with rapidly hopping solo passages.
In the concert interpretations of Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester with Hustedt, the fresh, consistently cantabile orchestral style is to be praised, as well as the great virtuoso leaps and celebrated flute tremolos and the beautiful solo cadenzas (sometimes sensitively composed by Hustedt himself).
The technical reproduction quality of this first recording is flawless. If you want to hear the music of the Mannheim School as an example, this double CD is the right choice.”
Eckehard Uhlig, Pforzheimer Zeitung, April 8, 2022
The discovery of Georg Metzger
When, while looking through a stack of sheet music with flute concertos by composers from the Mannheim court, my eyes unexpectedly fell on some old first prints by Georg Metzger, I was immediately fascinated by them. Although this composer was completely unknown to me, I immediately felt a great familiarity with him and his music. At that point I was not yet aware of the discovery I had made.
On closer examination, I was particularly struck by the sincerity as a special quality of his compositions. He does not put the virtuosity of the soloist in the foreground, as is often the case in flute concertos of the 18th century, but rather explores the complex relationships and tonal possibilities between the solo part and the orchestra. At the same time, his concerts are full of experimentation and original ideas: each one is unique and opens up new, unmistakable sound impressions.
It was a moving event for me to be able to perform his flute concertos again today and to let the music, which I had previously only heard internally, sound in public. In doing so, I experienced that connoisseurs and fans alike felt addressed by Metzger (and even some of them whistled his melodies to themselves during the concert break).
It was gratifying to feel that more and more people shared my enthusiasm for Georg Metzger and were inspired by his music. This gave rise to the idea of presenting this composer with the complete recording of his eight flute concertos for the first time on CD, thus giving him a new, contemporary vitality.
The detailed booklet includes a new version of the essay:
Johannes Hustedt, The flute concertos by Georg Metzger and their classification in the development of the "Mannheim School"
in: Boje E. Hans Schmuhl (ed.), Flute music in history and performance practice between 1650 and 1850
Augsburg 2009 (Michaelsteiner Conference Reports, Vol. 73)
With contributions by Rachel Brown, Dieter Gutknecht, Johannes Hustedt, Gisa Jähnichen, Hermann Jung, Klaus-Peter Koch, Joachim Kremer, Hartmut Krones, David Lasocki, Dorothee Oberlinger, Ute Omonsky, Karsten Erik Ose, Peter Reidemeister, Ralph-Jürgen Reipsch, Wilhelm Seidel and Nikolai Tarasov