A Concert for the Prussian King

– Enlightened chamber music from the court of Frederick II

Société Lunaire focuses in this program on the musicians and composers that took part in the musical life in Berlin/Potsdam during the reign of Frederick II.

Music played an essential role in the entire life of the Prussian king: Since the age of seven he took lessons in composition and basso continuo and started in 1728 secretly – against the will of his father – to take flute lessons with Johann Joachim Quantz, the renowned traverse flute virtuoso. Already in his time as prince in Rheinsberg (1736-1740) he surrounded himself with a number of leading composers and instrumental virtuosos – with who he actively engaged in chamber music – as well as intellectuals from the movement of the Enlightenment. When Frederick was crowned king of Prussia in 1740 he did not want to miss out on this entertainment, therefore he founded the royal chapel Berlin and took great efforts in establishing an opera house in the city. In his service many of the best musicians of that period were employed, such as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Joachim Quantz, the families Benda and Graun as well as the harpist family Petrini.

 

Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) – Trio Sonata QV2:Anh.5

Carl Heinrich Graun (1704-1759) – Aria from ‘Cesare e Cleopatra’

Friedrich II. of Prussia (1712-1786) – Flute Sonata No. 190

Johann Wilhelm Hertel (1727-1789) – Trio II

Carl Heinrich Graun – Aria from ‘Montezuma’

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) – Trio Sonata H 578

 

Duration: 60 minutes without break

(with the possibility to extend to 75 or 90 minutes with break)