Ferdinand Ries: Flute Quartets Vol.1

review ries x1 cong

If you want to make a name for yourself, getting a job one of with the world’s greatest composers is a risky move, like being an understudy. You might have a lucky break or you might disappear without trace. Wikipedia reports that when Ries — friend and pupil of Ludwig van Beethoven — died, he was so forgotten that no leading music magazine wrote an obituary for him, so you can see how that turned out for him.

Ries was a talented composer, and wrote eight symphonies, a violin concerto, eight piano concertos, three operas, and numerous other works in many genres, including 26 string quartets.

Beethoven himself had received early instruction from Ries’s father, Franz Anton Ries, and Ries was the only pupil that Beethoven taught for a time, later finding him jobs. Ries was also Beethoven’s secretary.

In his body of work, Ries wrote much for the flute, more than for any other wind instrument, and it sounds like he was very fond it, as these are delicate and beautiful compositions. The Radecke we’ve been playing this week has a fuller sound and is more calming because of it, but this is pleasant background music.

It’s well played by the Ardinghello Ensemble, which uses transverse flutes from the early 19th century.

Out on CPO, 555051-2.

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