Thank you all for your replies!
Elemimele, that's a brilliant idea with getting a cheapish plastic with a full range as well. (I see I caught recorder acquisition syndrome before I even got my first recorder, is that some sort of a record? At least it's not as if I were buying a second harp...)
I assume you're not playing fortissimo while singing off-key at 3 in the morning?
Ha ha, no, that was his other next door neighbour who, when he was going through a rough patch, would apparently play his guitar and sing between 1 am and 2 am. (Also, I always sing in tune! ) I agree about the need for therapy, though, the harp must be pushing some button, so to speak, because this is someone who doesn't even notice the extremely loud noise we've been lately getting from aircraft, noise that makes me want to curl up in a ball and whimper.
Your neighbour grumbles about your harp ? Your HARP???!!!
Well, he'll forget about that when you start practising high squeaks won't he! (I'm sure you'll be practising beautiful high notes of course!)
I'm not a proper recorder player but I remember hanging a small rectangle of paper in the window which muted the sound for doing the repetitious fingerwork part of practice.
That's good to know. I'll experiment with mutes, then. I actually have quite a bit of sympathy for Grumpy Neighbour, despite of what I implied in my previous post, because I am very sensitive to noise myself. Also, apart from this one thing, he's really nice and considerate, so I don't want to annoy him too much.
I have owned and played a Moeck Renaissance recorder, albeit a tenor rather than your preferred model. My strong recommendation would be: buy a 2nd hand one (there seem to be quite a lot of them about). I bought a 2nd hand one, tried it, and ultimately sold it again, so was able to have a really good go at it and not lose too much money.
Why did I sell it? I actually really liked it, it was nice to play, had a good tone, and very soild low notes. But, the limited range really is a pain for solo playing (it's not intended to be a solo instrument) and will seriously limit your repertoire if you are looking at van Eyck and later. In addition, the A has different fingering to the standard - the instrument really is pre-baroque with a different bore and different acoustics, so the A is a 3rd harmonic note, not a 2nd as on a baroque instrument.
If it's your only recorder a Mollenhauer Kynseker has a full 2-and-a-bit octave range, albeit with a few non-standard fingerings, and I preferred the tone to that of the Moeck (though that is subjective); alternatively the Kobliczek renaissance model also has full 2 octave range and completely standard fingering, but is less easy to come by than either the Moeck or the Molly. You can get a Kynseker in G for €469 from Thomann or, if you stretch to €545 you can have the same in plumwood (€469 is for the maple) which is a really beautiful instrument.
Final thought, I agree with what others have said about noise. A plastic Aulos Hakka is, honestly, a very good instrument (though only in F) and not at all expensive - much less of a loss if your neighbour rushes round and stamps on it. I can't help feeling that a recorder is likely to be more piercing than a harp.
Hmm, that reinforces that I definitely should not expect the renaissance Moeck to have a big enough enough range for all I want to play. I wish I liked the Kynseker, but it does nothing for me. I tried to find sound samples of the Kobliczek, but no luck so far. I'll look into plastic recorders, the Hakka does sound nice.
Perhaps the sensible thing would be to get a plastic recorder now and see how I get on with muting it, and then if I am successful with the mute to get a wooden recorder, whichever one it is (whichever ones they are...) that I fancy at the time.
You know that harp players say that the correct number of harps is just one more?