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Recorder Thread!


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#4021 elemimele

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 15:10

If you'd just written Telemann's 2nd flute fantasie, would you ever dare put pen to paper again? It's perfect.


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#4022 AdLibitum

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 17:51


a handmade Ganassi in autumn


If you haven't seen it already, Philippe Bolton's website has lots of excellent information about recorders in general. There's a page on ganassi recorders here: http://www.flute-a-b...-sam-135gb.html and one about bore evolution more generally here: http://www.flute-a-b...ionpercegb.html
That's really interesting. I am leaning towards a Ganassi simply because I like the sound of those played in various YouTube videos, but I didn't know much about the history.
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#4023 elemimele

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 18:45

Sound is a very good reason to lean towards a particular instrument.

I wonder whether the 20th C pursuit of a Ganassi recorder was a result of thinking from a modern perspective? The modern player who picks up an early instrument feels its limitations because they know that with modification it could play a much larger range, and that a lot of music has been written that it can't play. The player back in history didn't know what was to come, and had an instrument with as good a range as any, and that could play anything that had been written, so why would he want more?

Presumably if Ganassi knew some high fingerings, he wasn't alone, and others would have known them too (certainly if they'd read Ganassi). But no one composed using them. That suggests strongly that no composer of any significance thought those notes were of any value.

Strangely, as well as the sound value, I'm now curious about those "Ganassi" instruments anyway, just to know what they're like to play, because even if they're not historically accurate for the Renaissance, they're now historically interesting in the rediscovery of the recorder. And in any case, any instrument that's been made with care by a skilled maker is something of value, something of interest, and worth exploring. 


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#4024 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 13:28

If you'd just written Telemann's 2nd flute fantasie, would you ever dare put pen to paper again? It's perfect.

 

I shall make sure I listen to it!  I very much "grew up" with the view that Telemann was just a sort of poor imitation of Bach, and his contemporaries had got it all wrong, but I have come to know his music better over the last few years and he wrote a lot of excellent stuff and some real gems.


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#4025 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 13:40

> I am leaning towards a Ganassi simply because I like the sound

 

I generally prefer the sound of pre-baroque recorders, and I like the simple lines of them too.

Obviously it's all subjective.  When I attended Jacqueline Sorel's recorder maintenance workshop, I took my Moeck Hotteterre tenor along; it's a (reproduction) baroque instrument but it's early baroque and has a wider and slightly less cylindrical bore than later baroque instruments and I like its tone whereas Jacqueline clearly did not.

Personally, I'm not bothered about authenticity (eg playing 16th century music on a 17th century (style) instrument is fine by me if I enjoy it).


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#4026 AdLibitum

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 19:20

Hmm, I wonder if Ganassi's contemporaries (and Ganassi himself) didn't use the top notes much because they didn't sound very good on the then-available models? After all the current "Ganassi" recorder is a modern invention.

 

I'm also not bothered about authenticity - I think it's entirely within the spirit of the music tradition of thousands of years up until the 19th century or so to play whatever instrument produces the sound I'm after. Speaking of which... https://www.bernolin...ategory=1001058

 

:wub:  (Nononono, must not, must not, cannot afford and don't want a soprano anyway. Aarrgh.) Does anyone know which piece the first sound sample is?


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#4027 elemimele

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 21:06

Oh yes, nothing wrong with playing something on any instrument that makes it sound good.

 

Bach and Telemann. Yes, as a kid, and more thoroughly as a teenager, I learned organ (not to a very good level, but I made a start!). Back then, unless you had a good teacher, the organ repertoire consisted of:

(1) Early English Organ Music for Manuals (ed. C H Trevor, in multiple volumes)

(2) The Cloister Albums, a set of hideous anthologies with lurid monochrome covers and a title in Gothic type; I can't remember anything more about them.

(3) Bach

At that stage, no one had invented anyone else. Good organists played (1); less-good organists played (2) with a lot of swell-pedal and faith; really good organists played (3). It was possible to be aware of other organ composers if you dabbled in CH Trevor's rather good tutor-books, as he was clearly aware of the Rest of the World (except France) and did give snippets from other places.

It was the end of the era of total Bach-worship. Bach is brilliant, there's no doubt about it. But one of the most exciting aspects of recorder for me, when I rediscovered it, was the realisation that an instrument needn't be dominated by one composer. That there are thousands, tens-of-thousands of composers out there, and a lot of them have written music that is very good. In fact no matter how good someone is, they're never going to encompass every possibility; music is enriched by lots of different people writing it in lots of ways.

In his day, I believe Telemann was better-known than Bach. It's never good to stand too close to a genius - but Telemann can stand fairly close to Bach while still being himself, and still shining.

(should add: I did get a good teacher, and ended up discovering Messiaen and Durufle and a whole load of other lovely people... but Bach really did dominate, probably in part because his music can be played to sound well even on the very limited resources of a small village organ)


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#4028 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 08:21

Speaking of which... https://www.bernolin...ategory=1001058

 

:wub:  (Nononono, must not, must not, cannot afford and don't want a soprano anyway. Aarrgh.) Does anyone know which piece the first sound sample is?

 

Not to try to encourage you along paths you shouldn't be treading, but if you want to try out something along these lines without spending nearly €1400, what about this: https://earlymusicsh...corder-in-maple?  You can have this and pretty much keep the €1000 part of Bernolin's price.  I think it sounds good in the youtube video.  I almost bought one myself and if there had been any ready I would have done, even though I really wanted a tenor (he only makes sopranos and altos).  Terry has a website at http://terrymann.co.uk/index.html which gives the impression of being a bit out of date but I emailed him and he replied pretty much straight away.  His first email said he wouldn't have any available "for a while yet" and as I wanted to go ahead and get myself a birthday present I bit the bullet and went for the Moeck Renaissance (which did mean I could have the tenor).  He subsequently got in touch and said he'd got a bit of a move on and would have some ready in about a month.  That was late March, so about 3 weeks from now.  If you buy directly from him the alto is £335 plus £10 P&P which I reckon is a very good deal.  Anyway, if you are interested, you can get in touch via his website or email directly at [email protected]  You'd be doing us all a favour in a way as you could review it for us :)

 

Sorry, no idea what the music is.


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#4029 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 08:32

In his day, I believe Telemann was better-known than Bach.

 

should add: I did get a good teacher, and ended up discovering Messiaen

 

I envy you having some organ-playing experience, it's something I'd love to have tried. 

 

I've read that when Bach got one of his jobs they really wanted Telemann but couldn't get him, so took Bach as 2nd best.  I don't know how true that is or whether it just suits the Bach narrative.  (I should perhaps say that I love Bach's music, he's one of my absolute favourite composers.)

 

I lived in Salisbury when I was in UK and the cathedral organist did a series of Messiaen recitals.  They were so thinly attended that we were allowed to sit in the choir stalls.  The music sounded fantastic, and there we were in amazing carved seats right under the organ - a great experience.  Organ unfortunately seems to translate least well of almost any music style to home listening, however good the hi-fi might be.


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#4030 AdLibitum

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 18:24

Thanks for the info and the links, OaG. I'll listen a few times and have a think.

Re Salisbury cathedral, I once sang in a choir in Verdi's Requiem there. It was a lovely experience. The only snag, as far as I was concerned, was when they told us the spire is so heavy that the supporting pillars have buckled. Once you spot it, you can't unsee it and I found it somewhat disconcerting. I had to keep telling myself it wasn't going to come down right now!
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#4031 elemimele

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 20:51

I have no idea how Terry makes a living selling at that price, sounded nice too. I also listened to the Jan van Hoecke Bernolin recorder, but couldn't decide whether I was loving the instrument or the player, or the music; it's difficult to disentangle beauty.

Today's crisis: went back to trying to play some totally standard F-key alto recorder stuff written on a perfectly respectable normal treble clef, and got myself into a total twist. These are my just deserts for spending too much time doing flute music by pretending it's in a bass clef. Now I'll have to go back and relearn proper playing, and it's annoying because I was quite proud of my sight-reading at one stage. Ah well.


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#4032 AdLibitum

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 07:49

You'll just have to transpose the F key music to flute music key, that's all. ;)

I agree about it being difficult to disentangle beauty, that's what's stopping me from ordering that recorder right now...
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#4033 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 10:03

Re Salisbury cathedral, I once sang in a choir in Verdi's Requiem there. It was a lovely experience. The only snag, as far as I was concerned, was when they told us the spire is so heavy that the supporting pillars have buckled. Once you spot it, you can't unsee it and I found it somewhat disconcerting. I had to keep telling myself it wasn't going to come down right now!

 

Did you see the mark on the floor that's the difference between the place the top of the spire should be over and the place it actually is over?  And the latter isn't constant, it drifts a bit in strong winds.  I've been up the tower several times and the assorted repairs holding it all together don't inspire huge confidence.  Brilliant view from the top though.  The tour only goes to the top of the tower; there is a ladder that then goes up the spire as far as possible and, where it gets too narrow, a door out so the climb can be continued on the exterior ladder  - someone has to change the bulb in the aircraft warning light from time to time.  Apparently, someone was in charge of maintenance for many years and his idea of relaxing was to climb to the top of the spire, get onto the cross and sit with his legs on the horizontal bar.  I don't think I would find that relaxing at all!

 

I have no idea how Terry makes a living selling at that price, sounded nice too.

 

I suppose a lot of people who work like that don't make much money from it.  Mrs OaG works in stained glass and the money she gets for what she sells never really reflects the cost, but she enjoys doing it.  The actual cost of the wood in recorders isn't that much, all the value is in the labour, so I presume he's just working for a very low hourly rate.  He's also a musician and a composer according to his website so presumably the instruments aren't his sole source of income.

 

You'll just have to transpose the F key music to flute music key

 

My sight reading is woeful and that's part of the reason I stick to tenor recorder - I have enough trouble just playing it without adding extra complexity!!


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#4034 AdLibitum

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 10:44

I didn't see that mark, no. I'm rather glad I didn't know about it at the time, or about the repairs not inspiring confidence, I have to say. :D But the view must be stunning.
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#4035 Bagpuss

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 11:11

Having taken a sabbatical from teaching for the best part of a year I now have a few students again.  The recorder pupils I have are truly wonderful to work with and I had forgotten just how much I love the instrument.

Might did out those Fantasias, elimimele, after I've attended to some well-overdue maintenance on my beloved instruments (argh, major neglect so therefore a MAJOR task .... DOOM...)

TeleBagmann x


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