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#3811 elemimele

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 22:12

Hm, I haven't played a Renaissance recorder, so someone else will have to comment on that, and on their loudness relative to typical recorders. But yes, some of Van Eyck exceeds that range (Onder de Linde groene is a full two octaves if I remember). But on the other hand I don't blame you for wanting an authentic instrument for the period that interests you. I know you're not planning to buy more than one instrument, but maybe a compromise is to buy one nice instrument, the Renaissance one you want, and one cheap instrument, such as a simple Baroque-style plastic thing, which would give you an instrument with the two-octave-and-a-note range that you need for Bach etc.??

As for your neighbour, it's definitely time to trade him in for another one. Anyone who objects to a harpist should be forced to live next to a saxophonist for a few months. I assume you're not playing fortissimo while singing off-key at 3 in the morning? Muting recorders doesn't work very well in my experience. I know a lot of people write enthusiastically about putting bits of folded cardboard in the mouth, but I find that increasing bits of paper lead first to no change, and then quite suddenly to complete loss of sound, reducing it to obscure hissing noises. Maybe I lack mute-talent. If you find a magic way that works, do let me know!


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#3812 dorfmouse

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 10:01

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.
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#3813 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 11:12

Well, I bumped into my keyless tenor (aulos) and had a play. I think I rather love it. It's much nicer than I remember when last we met. It's soooo responsive, and has quite a fun sound to it for the right pieces. I remember the 2nd octave G and A being hard to play in tune, but with a smaller thumb hole they're not. The Bb above is way sharp but spot on with fingering 12-4567 instead of 12-456-, so no problem. Delightful instrument, but a bit of a stretch on the hands.

 

Interesting - I have the same instrument and could not get on with it at all.  I originally bought one 2nd hand and thought that maybe it was a bit of a dud so I bought a new one, but I don't like that either.  I've heard positive comments from other people so maybe it's just me.  I also have the Yamaha plastic tenor and I recently noticed Amazon selling an Aulos Symphony tenor fairly cheaply, so I bought that too.  In the light of your comment I re-tried the keyless Aulos the other day (I really want to like it, because I love the simplicity of it) but, sorry to say, I still didn't like it.  I think the Symhpony is much better, and the Yamaha a little better than that again.  A small point: the Symphony plays 2nd octave D amazingly in-tune by adding 6th finger to E, which leads to the best E-D trill I have ever accomplished!


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#3814 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 11:37

I'm thinking of the Moeck Renaissance treble in G, because I do like the sound of the early recorders and, who knows, perhaps one day I'll succeed in my dream of playing in a small early music group with other instruments. I'm still dithering about the model, though, for two reasons: one is the range - it's only an octave and a sixth.

 

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.


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#3815 AdLibitum

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 19:58

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! :D) 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? :rolleyes:


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#3816 elemimele

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 23:10

Ah, harpists and recorderists are clearly on the same wavelength.

I restrict my playing to within fixed hours, out of fairness to neighbours. But although I had a bad patch with some neighbours a few years ago, the current people on both sides are lovely, tolerant characters. OaG, I cherish your careful responses about instruments - one day when I'm feeling flush and make it to a good recorder shop, I am going to remember the things you've suggested, and splurge on a nicer instrument.


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#3817 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 11:28

elemimele: thank you for your kind words, though I must point out that I really am not any kind of expert and most of what I say could probably be summed up (to steal a good title) as the idle thoughts of an idle fellow.

 

It's strange how recorder players seem to acquire so many recorders.  Is it as simple as that they don't occupy much space so one can, in a way that a pianist, say, cannot?  I suppose that a professional performer would need instruments in different sizes and pitches and representative of different periods, but most of us will never be in that position.  In some ways, what I'd really like to find is a single ideal instrument that I played all the time and got incredibly familiar with, but that's hard with recorders because you can only play wooden ones for so long before they get sufficiently clogged to become tricky, and there aren't any plastic ones that I like enough (which comes back to wanting to like the Robin tenor).

 

I am a bit of a musical instrument geek - I was over in UK for a wedding a short while ago and found myself with a free afternoon in Oxford which I spent visiting the Bate Collection.  For a few hours there was just me, the curator, and a huge collection of all sorts of wonderful instruments - bliss!  I quite enjoy puzzling over which recorder might be the ideal one!  In some ways it's a more interesting conundrum with tenors because they lie on a sort of cusp: some have keys and some don't, some are easy enough to finger and some are a bit too much of a stretch.  The couple of renaissance ones I have tried seem to not clog as quickly or as badly as baroque ones, maybe because they have bigger windways - or maybe it's just a coincidence.

 

I completely agree about how nice it would be to try out lots of instruments, but in fantasy land I'd want to do that at some sort of fair because there would be more choice from independent makers (fantasy because their instruments are even more expensive).  I like the look of renaissance instruments as I prefer the simple lines over the intricacies of baroque style; if the tooth fairy offered me any recorder I would want something this: https://recordersfor...sano-tenor-440/  No joins!  But it probably has a limited range and I've never even heard it, plus it costs a fortune new.  My current "fantasy but bordering vaguely on reality" instrument is this one: http://www.flute-a-b...b.html#tenorprb  Looks great (to me), I love the sound and it has a full 2+ octave range; the price is more than I can afford but not as much so as most.

 

Even going to a fair would not really solve the problem, though, because it's a bit like buying a bed in a showroom - lying on one for 2 mins doesn't give much idea of what sleeping on it for a whole night might be like.  With a recorder, you'd really need time to play it in and let the tone develop.  Hmmm...


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#3818 AdLibitum

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 14:17

I've been looking at plastic trebles and then on some entry level wooden ones. I quite like the Moeck Rottenburgh in maple, so I'm now considering getting it instead of a plastic one. (Talk about a 180 degree turn! But the renaissance treble is simply on hold, that's all...)
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#3819 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 17:29

Before you entirely give up on the idea of plastic, have a look at Sarah Jeffery's review (if you haven't come across her, look for Team Recorder on YouTube) of the Aulos Hakka - many people would rate it as highly as a Rottenburgh for about a fifth of the price - the balance of which would go a long way towards a good renaissance model.  Just a thought!


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#3820 AdLibitum

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 15:14

Thanks. I've watched the video and also the other video Sarah has on plastic recorders. I do prefer the sound of wood but your point about the price difference going towards the cost of the renaissance recorder is a very good one! I'll mull it over some more.
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#3821 RLW

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 19:02

Thanks. I've watched the video and also the other video Sarah has on plastic recorders. I do prefer the sound of wood but your point about the price difference going towards the cost of the renaissance recorder is a very good one! I'll mull it over some more.


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#3822 RLW

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 19:07

Have a look at the Bernolin resin recorders, they are "handmade" and several leagues above the Yamaha and Aulos instruments. At €570 they aren't cheap, but are probably better than factory made recorders costing considerably more. I have both Aulos Haka and Bernolin, and the difference in sound and response is remarkable...even though the Aulos is really good for that price level.
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#3823 elemimele

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 23:21

I like those videos of Sarah Jeffery's. Sometimes the sound recording might perhaps not be of the best (it's a blog in her hallway, not a studio!) but of course she's a very good player, and she tends to play each instrument she reviews in the same conditions, so it's great for comparison. It's also an ear-opener to hear her approach to testing an instrument. On the whole, though, I'm uninclined to buy a new instrument at the moment: I wish that buying a new instrument would improve how I sound, but the truth of the matter is that it's me, not the instrument, that's the limiting factor. 

If I ever do, having a look at the Bernolin recorders is  high on my list. I am quite attached to plastic for its practicality, but don't see any reason why it shouldn't be machined in the way I believe Bernolin does, with a maker who knows what he's doing. And I'll forgive him his prices; looking at his collection of workshop equipment, he's going to have to charge quite a bit if he's going to cover his expenses.


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#3824 AdLibitum

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 11:26

Thanks, RLW. I don't doubt they are fine recorders, but it is a bit more than I can spend on a recorder that isn't the renaissance recorder I'm primarily after.

In fact, since my last post I've ordered the Moeck Rottenburgh treble in maple and a couple of tutor books - my current thinking is that it will make my life easier if I have an instrument that allows me to follow the tutor books without transposing and without adapting the instructions to a limited range of the renaissance G alto. So, as I'm likely to spend longer playing the standard treble, I splurged on a wooden one.

Short (and more accurate) version: I needed cheering up, so I ordered a maple recorder!
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#3825 elemimele

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 12:11

The Rottenburghs have a jolly good reputation as sensible, high-quality instruments, so I'm sure you'll have a great time with it and find it highly appropriate. I'm sure you've chosen something good there: may it give you many years of happy playing!


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