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Recorder Thread!


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#3571 elemimele

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 20:13

Anacrusis: that sounds so fun, and so rewarding too, but you must be utterly exhausted. Music education makes me sigh. It's good so many individuals and organisations try so hard, because in schools it seems underfunded and very hit-and-miss (with a lot more missing than hitting).

 

Andante-in-C, I couldn't resist having a look at the syllabus out of pure curiosity! I'm rubbish on all modern music. The two Barsanti sonatas are both delightful, and it's so nice to see something other than the third of his recorder sonatas. The whole of YouTube plays No. 3, but no one (except Barnaby Ralph!) touches anything else. I love Barsanti because every one of his sonatas is completely unique - and every movement is different too. There's so much in there. (He's not like those composers who wrote the same piece 57 times...). No. 2's opening Adagio is gorgeous beyond words (but to me, completely unplayable); the allegro is pretty and spritely, I have no idea what to do with the Largo, and the presto has charm. But No. 4 is totally gorgeous. It's odd because it's got a huge set of piano/forte contrasts in the opening Adagio (which Barnaby Ralph calmly ignores as loudness, and deals with by contrasting style - good man!), I'd guess the con spirito is super-fun (but I wouldn't dare, couldn't cope, and it needs accompaniment to work properly, which I don't have) but, beauty of beauties, the following sicilana largo is totally heavenly, and the gavotte allegro that follows is super fun to play (I've had a go, couldn't resist; and that's another bit of Barsanti's skill: a lot of  his music sounds good whether it's played super-well or at an amateur level). The gavotte should be set as a piece for practicing trills in context, too. Actually one of the reasons I love Barsanti is his phrasing: he writes in a lot of slurs, and his music benefits soooo much from careful phrasing, but it's easy to think out what to do, because he's provided so much help. It's lovely to see him on the list, and makes me happy (my only Barsanti-related gripe is that absolutely no one seems to play his German flute sonatas, even though they're perfectly decent and could be done on recorder too, of course).

The Van Eyck, on the other hand, is very disappointing. Yup, Daphne and Wat zal men are both beautiful, but strewth, we're looking at the biggest collection of solo music for any instrument ever written, here. Why is it always the same two bits? And in Daphne they've chosen two variations that are very similar too.

Oops, jobs to do. Getting carried away there.


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#3572 anacrusis

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 21:06

andante_in_c - you'll have guessed I'd not be able to pass up on Bach - and that sonata is such fun to play...the Castello is another favourite, not least because it was the piece on which I first learnt double-tonguing (and then spent about five or six years getting up to any sort of performance standard on it!). It's got beautiful transitions between moods and plenty of changes of pace, with a glorious section of slow repeated notes which then turn into a bit of a romp. My favourite recording of that one is of Jeremy West on his cornett: there's also a lovely Andrew Manze version (though somehow he turns the repeated quavers into sets of five when they're really in fours).  I don't know the Christopher Brown, though think I may have done one of his studies for grade 8, and enjoyed that. Fontana I love too - still trying to get my fingers round the sonata secunda from that set, and have ignored the others in my book, will have a look at it. I did the Fantasien and Scherzi by Hans-Martin Linde - I would tend to pull out at least one thing with avant-garde techniques in it just because they normally sound cacophonous, in the hope the examiner won't be able to tell the difference between my bad playing and what the composer might've intended it to sound like ph34r.png . Programme note writing for that one was...interesting... - I had to work out some guff about a 12 tone series for it, and then pick apart its inversions etc...  Pete Rose's music is always fun - I did MediƦval Nights for one exam, despite my aversion to singing in public (had to sing and play at the same time) - and the Telemann is gorgeous..

lots to choose from on there, I don't envy you the task of whittling it down smile.png

Good to know too that we have more players in common - am finding that increasingly I know people who know people in the recorder network... 

 

Tonight's musical adventure - my husband plays viols, and as the group originally consisted of men of a certain vintage, they've called themselves the Victor Meldrew Consort of viols. They came to our house tonight as they have a gig pending, and roped me in for some five-part Holborne once they'd rehearsed their Buxtehude. So, having a recorder in the group means of course that I made their consort into a broken one... whoops. Thankfully didn't break the music all that badly wink.png


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#3573 andante_in_c

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 08:40

Thanks for your suggestions and comments, both. :) You'll be glad to know that I'm probably going to play the Bach, anacrusis. I steered away from it while I was still flute teaching as I knew it too well having taught the first three movements for flute grade exams. But I've never performed it myself, and it's absolutely beautiful. I'm glad I have the urtext flute version as I can compare the articulation in the Murray-edited recorder one and remove some of the slurs. ;) I like Barsanti, elemimele, but I think Bach is going to win on this occasion! 

 

I'm also seriously considering the Pete Rose as that will get me out of having to play anything else ultra-modern. :D I know the last movement, Lunch, as I've both played and taught it, and I'm now more confident with singing to attempt the second movement. After my run-through yesterday it became clear that it will be a straight choice between the Rose and the van Eyck: both unaccompanied pieces and both about the same length, so I think the van Eyck will have to go.

 

I'm looking at something lyrical and modern for the other piece, and think it might be Hans Gal, but I've also got a couple of own-choice options at Grade 8 level to try. If I end up with a shorter lyrical piece I might be able to squeeze in something on descant/early as well.

 

The good thing about the ARSM is that I don't have to justify my choices in a viva voce, so as long as the programme is varied enough I can play what I like. I'm doing it for fun so I'm going to make sure I'm happy with all my choices.


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#3574 elemimele

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 12:38

I shouldn't have expressed an opinion - all this is so far over my head that my opinion isn't worth a lot anyway - but it's impossible, just as a listener, to look at that lovely list and not feel something...

Yeah, I'll definitely forgive you for going with Bach rather than Barsanti. I'm ashamed, I didn't actually know that Bach piece, and had to go and listen to it on YouTube. That's another odd one too: YouTube is very patchy on what it contains - always tends to have 60 recordings of one piece and nothing of another.


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#3575 andante_in_c

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 13:24

You might have better luck listening to the flute version, elemimele (it's in E major). I'm half tempted to acquire (ahem) a 415 treble and get the accompanist to use the flute E major part while I play in F, but I don't really think I can justify that now I'm retired. If I do have any money for a new recorder it will be put in the great bass fund.

 

Barsanti is lovely, and I might be tempted, but I really would like a chance to play the Bach. It is interesting how I know some pieces really well through teaching (even in a different key) despite never having performed them.


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#3576 Gran'piano

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 19:18

  The music schools have no direct equivalent in the UK - they're not conservatoires, rather places that kids can go and learn to make music from primary age on - there's no music tuition within the normal schools, but this provides it for those who want to. Although there's a cost, I understand that it's rather less than it would be for private lessons, and the kids have the bonus of getting to make music together too.

I wish there were an equivalent arrangement of music tuition for kids in the UK - these were not big communities, but they value their culture and think it worth investing in ... 

is there really nothing similar in Britain? There might not be many centres but when we lived in Bucks, there was something in High Wycombe which seems to me not completely different. Our children went there to join recorder groups but the younger one later played in the beginner's orchestra and they both sang in a choir. Their homepage is under www.bucksmusic.org


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#3577 anacrusis

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 00:26

I think the difference is that the music schools are a more generally available facility, even in fairly small communities: we've also seen evidence of similar in France. In the UK, that doesn't seem to happen. Edinburgh is a moderate sized city but there's no direct equivalent here - sure, you can find various groups and places to get lessons if you know where to look, just not a building which is specifically set up with music in mind, and since music provision in schools is patchy, that means it's a bit hit-or-miss to find something suitable. For a long time in Edinburgh you'd have all the kids from a feeder school for a high school having to learn the same instrument - which meant everyone in school x playing violin, in school y playing viola, and so on, the aim being then to be able to put together a strings ensemble once they got to high school. Efficient, possibly, but not exactly fair, and certainly not taking into account choice or interest.... the German music schools offer a wide range of options and are well set up to encourage ensemble playing for everyone, not just the elite - I'd love to see something like this happening here. 


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#3578 elemimele

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 06:19

Yes, completely agree, especially about patchiness. Round here there is apparently nothing supporting schools at all, at least at primary level. Some, probably most good schools are providing class instrumental music in the form of ukulele lessons or similar - a handful, for a term. But basically if you want to learn an instrument at primary level, it's down to individual private teachers (many of them, of course, teaching on school premises), with parental-awareness being by word of mouth. It's not cheap. And the real problem is that it only happens if parent knows that the opportunities are there, and takes active steps to make them happen. I can't help notice that only upper-middle-class kids are now getting instrumental lessons. Perhaps it was always like that?

I'm not aware of any dedicated music facility locally. Even for the kids who are getting the private lessons, there are few opportunities to do anything outside the lessons.

It's what anacrusis wrote: "if you know where to look". A lucky few probably know and have parents with the cash. The rest don't get much opportunity. What does happen, quite a bit, is that a fair number of of very good amateurs and a large handful of enthusiastic professionals do dedicate a healthy portion of time to coming into schools and playing some music for a class to appreciate. This has been very rewarding for my kid, and I hope these people know the good they do.

I don't know the secondary world, but for many kids, my feeling is that the die is cast before they reach that stage anyway.


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#3579 elemimele

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:55

sheer slidy insanity! 

(I'm lost for words, but isn't it fun?)


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#3580 Zixi

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 16:49

I watched that vid (thank you)  and tried the glissando as it went along. It was much easier than I thought it might be but I had to stop because the dog howled and howled and howled and I wasn't sure if I liked the sound either.


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#3581 anacrusis

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 00:51

having played Shinohara's "Fragmente" for my licentiate... (has now been "demoted" to associateship)  - the worst thing about all the avante garde techniques is you have to sit with the score and work out all the weird things they want you to do bit by bit, it is not something you can just busk through to see if you like it :D . The glissy bit she showcases is one of the more relaxing things to do - I was interested to see the bit about going over a break smoothly, and realised I ought to have got out my copy of van Hauwe before trying to learn the piece. It consists of fourteen fragments which may be played in various orders, though it's not entirely a free choice, so much photocopying and chopping up of the copies was needed to put together the piece in a way which sort of appealed to me. I'm going to be taking part in an advanced techniques workshop in a couple of weeks and am already flapping about what on earth some of the directions actually mean - one bit is supposed to be like panpipes, does that mean blow across the top of the mouthpiece? More singing/speaking whilst playing also required, am curious to see how the piece we're going to do pans out. 

What's the weirdest way to make a sound from a recorder I wonder? I think the thing Evelyn Nallen once demonstrated - of getting a vibrato effect by sitting in an office chair and spinning in it has to be somewhere in the top ten :D 


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#3582 elemimele

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 12:55

I do like the (revolutionary?) idea of the office chair. A small consort of rotating players could be fun, though difficult to conduct...

Somewhere I once found a video of someone playing a penny whistle which was powered by a piece of tubing entering a part of his anatomy that we can't mention in polite society (though it would be a discussion-point in an endoscopy unit). Yup, I think the office-chair vibrato is a better idea.

 

The thing that leapt out at me too, from the Sarah Jeffery glissandos, was the end-covering stuff again. Does anyone have any tips about how to block the end of a recorder with a leg without needing emergency dentistry? It's all very well doing it slowly and calmly on a niiiice loooong miiiiniiiim, but people like Telemann don't seem to feel under any obligations to write their F#s/C#s in convenient places.


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#3583 anacrusis

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 01:00

I had to do that trick for the Bach I played in my last exam, elemimele (the one I was mad enough to put up on youtube)  - and the top F#s in that came in the middle of runs. What I did was to start standing on one leg about half a bar before the note was required, getting my knee close to the bell, then just gently tipped my head down for the note, and up again for the next note. For Brandenburg 4, there's a fudge which works instead: I forget exactly which fingers do what, but if one is slurring upwards from the E, it's possible to get a passable (and passing...) top F# without needing to use the knee stop at all. 

One of the problems with knee stopping is clothing - it doesn't work if wearing fabrics which are too textured. Bit of a pest as my current concert garb is a pair of velvet trousers. 


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#3584 Maizie

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 07:02

This is essentially why I bought my E-foot treble ... Bach cello suites without the knee/tooth/falling over injuries (it goes up to third octave E flat, and down to the E below the normal bottom F, all without bell hole covering).  Of course, I didn't get much further than buying it *sigh* One day...


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#3585 Zixi

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:26

Maizie - You underestimate that step - as Hannah Glasse said in her recipe for jugged hare - First catch your hare! I have a (small, lever) harp and I consider myself much closer to being able to play the harp than when I didn't have it! laugh.png

 

anacrusis - if the madness hasn't passed a pointer to the linky would be nice. If it has passed then I really understand! smile.png


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