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Recorder Thread!


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#3406 anacrusis

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 14:20

Two of the Flanderses, Tom Beets and Joris van Goethem, are coming to my neck of the woods in March, and will do so again in October: they have done an enormous series of farewell concerts around the world and I guess may simply play in different combinations, and carry on also with the teaching they do. Am looking forward to the workshops and very much swithering about whether I dare ask one of them for a lesson also - haven't had any lessons for, ooh, aages... * and have made some progress with Wat Zalmen, so am wondering if I might tweak that further shape, then ask for tuition in how to avoid tying my tongue into knots attempting the demisemiquavers. 

 

Sören Sieg wub.png - elemimele I agree that one to a part is preferable to the massed recorder sound - and am lucky enough to be embarking on his "Celebration" with my local group - we're between 11 and 14 players depending on who can come, and so are generally no more than two to a part, and more usually one. I'm glad I'd done a few years at the SRO first, mind, as it's challenging to have to hold a line on one's own when the music is more complex - the local group is definitely a step up in its demands compared with the orchestra. 

 

*just found the vid I'd put on the Tube of You of the trial run for my LTCL/LGSMD exam... and appalled to see that that was 10 years ago ohmy.png - which is how long ago it is since I was having lessons :(


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#3407 elemimele

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 23:10

Sarah Jeffery has an interview this week with Michala Petri

From an audience perspective, she hasn't always been my super-favourite performer because (a) I find she's often a little too perfect, and (b) she tends to perform with quite big ensembles that leave her hard to hear - though she surprised me with some very beautiful Bach a month or two ago. Regardless of personal taste, she's been an amazing pioneer of the recorder, contributing enormously to what it's achieved as an instrument over the last 50 years. She's also heart-warmingly nice, offering a lot of musical common-sense. It's a jolly good interview, and left me wanting to listen to her more, perhaps with a bit more appreciation.


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#3408 anacrusis

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 13:07

I agree - that was interesting :) Also curious to hear her take on the Bach cello suites, turning them upside down to allow for the fact that low notes on a recorder speak less loudly than the upper ones, unlike on the cello where the reverse is true - I think it might take me a little while to get used to what she's done with them though... we also found out why she sounds a little too perfect at times - with six hours a day of practice from age 11 to 17, she really will so very thoroughly have internalised all those scales. I'm still bothered by the tone of those Adler recorders though - they have a harsh edge to them that I just can't engage with, even in the hands of experts like Michala Petri and Piers Adams. I keep thinking, but it's "flauto dolce" ... and they're more strident than sweet. I can understand the wish to be heard over a larger orchestra, but perhaps it's just something we have to accept is not going to be possible without making other compromises in the process. 

 

Another recordery weekend for me - renaissance group yesterday, though we did do some Schickhart at one point, and suddenly I was in my element, able to keep in time and romp off in a baroque flurry... welcome relaxation after the intense concentration the consort music demanded of me :D . At one point we were all playing trebles but reading up an octave *brainfreeze*  Today my local group, when we'll be doing Sören Sieg and also Moon River, one to a part - brainfreeze of a very different nature...


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#3409 elemimele

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 17:03

I felt the same about the harshness of the big recorders with keywork - are they the Adler ones? - butI put it down to the quality of the recording. It was certainly very edgy. I did like her emphasis on singing/legato ideas, and the way she could play the examples so clearly each way, and I enjoyed her attitude of trying to make the recorder capable of everything that the violin can do. On the other hand, I preferred the Bach the right way round! My personal feeling is that many pieces of music sound different on a recorder because of its different dynamics, different approach, and I like to find those that sound good - even if they sound different to how they "should". Bach's writing is so all-inclusive and correct that his inner parts and less-pronounced parts still have good tunes, so to me, it doesn't matter if a different part of one of his pieces is brought out too strongly. It's like the bass parts of his chorale/hymn settings, which are as good as most composers' tunes. Nevertheless, she's charming, incredibly talented, and has thought a lot about what she's doing, so I'll happily listen.

Anacrusis, I am a really bad person: I find myself almost glad that you get brain-freeze too (how unpleasant is my psychology?)! It makes me feel less bad about finding myself completely unable to read something written simply in the normal treble clef for treble recorder if I've been messing around trying to transpose a minor third by pretending its bass and all that - and then if I switch to using descant fingering I may as well give up altogether (and usually do: a cup of coffee resets my reading-mind).

Nice also to hear Michala Petri admit to panics about forgetting the music, and her remedy: think about her shopping! It's quite touching, a very human thing from a very elevated player.


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#3410 anacrusis

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 18:04

Elemimele, not a bad person at all - a human one, and let me assure you, much as I do recorder-swapsie-ing on a regular basis, and have been doing for the last nine years or so, brainfreeze is a regular feature of the longer rehearsals and all of us complain of it. I am also very heartened when the most accomplished players in the various groups produce frightful cacophony which turns out to be due to C recorder fingerings on an F instrument, or bass clef ones on a treble biggrin.png

 

I work in a very deprived area, and one of the wonderful things about it is that there are masses of initiatives to help improve the social fabric generally, many of them having their administrative bases in the same building which houses our practice. There are walking groups, cooking classes, an allotment group, counselling services, massage therapies, a herbal clinic.... and I found out the other week that there is also outreach from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. I went to a presentation they made of the work they'd done with local residents, some of them having been through pretty awful traumas in their lives, and what touched me enormously was the totally different approach to music-making compared with what I was used to (and also that it was conventionally-trained musicians who were delivering it!).  The tutors focused on rhythm, using all sorts of surfaces to percuss, but also used humming, recordings of voices reminiscing about their lives, and sound tracks taken from the local environment - the hum of the city bypass, the jangling of the somewhat dodgy ice-cream van which does its rounds even in not-exactly-ice-cream-weather, and the rain dropping on dank architecture, with pigeons scuffling around. They didn't need the years of training to get the music they made to work, but it was nonetheless amazing work - there was video, the sound, and an artist had also created an enormous score. One of the lines on the score depicted the sort of sound track you get on Audacity or other sound editing programs, but the fine zigzags were drawn in ink, by hand. It was wonderful - music made by non-trained people, guided and enabled by trained tutors, and given emphasis and shape by sound effects produced on their instruments by two players from the orchestra - a clarinettist and a double-bass player. I was transfixed by it, and kept thinking how different this was to my experience of painstakingly learning technique and constantly worrying about "getting it wrong" - and still producing something of which they could be proud, and which communicated something of their environment to others biggrin.png

 

I still get embarrassed when I produce a prominent foul note in the middle of our rehearsals, mind you rolleyes.gif


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#3411 andante_in_c

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 19:20

Love your description of the community music project, anacrusis. smile.png

 

I too often get brain-freeze when playing treble up, which is odd because I am used to playing flute up. I put it down to my brain saying, "Hmm, let me see, F fingering but odd - must be a bass recorder". rolleyes.gif

 

One of the hardest things I have done was trying to play a treble part in a Staeps ensemble piece (a septet?) as he tended to write the treble parts an octave down. Lots of odd rhythms and accidentals so that the brain was already frazzled before triyng to play up an octave.blink.png


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#3412 Maizie

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 21:07

One time at recorder orchestra, where I was playing great bass, for the last piece of the day we were short of parts, and I was asked if I would be OK playing the GB part but from treble clef as that was the only copy available.  I said that was absolutely fine, because at the end of a day of playing, I'm C-fingering in treble clef no matter what you put in front of me :D :rofl:


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#3413 Zixi

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 15:48

I like Petri's playing very much. I have a few of her recordings now. I'm not keen on the echo some of the latest recordings seem to have. It's very apparent in some of Laurin's stuff which for me is a minus... he sounds like he's trapped in the bathroom. There's a very charming vid of a much much younger Petri on (Youtube). She was extremely sweet and artless then - just like now; and I agree, listening to her one thinks: You are really, really, really nice! I was kind of pleased as a nice person is conveyed in her playing - I think. I don't much like flamboyant... I had to put up with a lot of that in my lifetime and now prefer people to just do it without making a song and dance and twirly wirlies before they do do it...


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#3414 elemimele

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 17:29

I still have my two quibbles about Michala Petri, but I'm warming to her. There's no doubt she's a superb player and musician, and a nice human. I'll see if I can find some of her earlier work! Incidentally, Dorothee Oberlinger is another who did a huge amount of practise as a child, and also has almost-drowned recordings of Vivaldi with orchestras who are too big for the job - and I've always had a soft-spot for her. We are lucky to live in a world with a lot of inspirational recorder professionals.

Anacrusis, your community music project sounds amazing and inspiring. I'm full of admiration for people who can do that sort of thing.


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#3415 Zixi

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 09:22

I've just order a Dorothee CD - thanks for the name elemimele! Appreciated. I've got one of Michala's Christmas CDs and it is lovely - a bunch of people having a great time! And yes, sometimes the recorder 'disappears' briefly amongst all the people having a great time but I don't mind that *because* they are having a great time. I don't like things engineered more than is necessary. In photography it drives me to despair - just how photoshopped everything is. If my photo doesn't turn out right then it's deleted and I vow to do better next time but these days everything is fixed post camera in software and of course it never ever has the charm of straight out of the camera for me... it's cropped and highlighted and low-lighted into artificiality... not for me... So I like Michala's artistic honesty. I like John Taylor for just that same reason. It sounds effortless and he doesn't show off... He doesn't have to - it's wonderful. I guess I don't like 'air-brushing' in art, politics or life... I don't like 'air-brushing' full stop! Warts and all - that's me... rolleyes.gif

 

edit: doh... Turner... mind is elsewhere... blink.png


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#3416 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:03

I should listen to the Petri interview properly, I've only done so while doing other things and I missed most of it, but I happened to catch the bit when she was talking about the Keith Jarret collaborations: their Bach disk was the first recording I ever bought specifically because it featured recorder.  I'd never heard of Michala Petri before, it was KJ that caught my attention, but I loved it and often listen to it (am now, in fact), and also have the Petri/Jarret Handel disk.  I think I would be in heaven if I could play that well.

Zixi: completely agree about so many things now being over-engineered, photoshopped, etc.  I suppose music is a tricky one.  I tend not to notice "###### notes" in concerts all that much - I suspect that if you listen out for them too much you're not really enjoying the performance.  I've been lucky enough to hear both Angela Hewitt and Andras Schiff play the Goldbergs fairly recently, and I noticed 2 minor fluffs by AH and 3 by AS, but there were probably more, and they didn't in any way detract from the performance.  On a CD, though, I suppose it might be like a loud click on vinyl, the sort that you know exactly where it's going to occur and it is quite irritating, so maybe it makes more sense to edit out the mistakes.  In that context, being a very accurate performer clearly has some merit.

Minor aside: both AH and AS played the Goldbergs entirely from memory.  Apparently, that's 75,000-odd notes.  How on earth does anyone remember that???


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#3417 Zixi

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 12:02

Cleaning up warts is often a double edged sword. Some 'kind' person did that for bugs in a game I play and turned a wonderful quest artefact into something less surprising and even though they have 'lore' on their side some of us still wish they hadn't; I even agree with their reasoning. I concur that hearing a less than perfect note might be irritating (for some people) but I don't enjoy wondering how big the bathroom actually is in some of the recordings I have. I do like artistic honesty and I wonder sometimes if we aren't being driven towards the same kind of dilemma that urges some of us to yearn after perfection that can only be achieved by 'air-brushing'...  I'm wondering how irritated I am with 'errors'...  I am extremely irritated by flamboyance! The 'Look at me!' performer who doesn't really let the music speak and wants to pretend they never fluff it!

 

Agree over the Jarret and Petri collaborations - we have a couple and love them. They both play to let the music speak and neither thinks they are the more important. That probably goes back to just being very nice!

 

We're working on rhythm dictation at the moment. The piano really irritates me as a dictation medium as I can't tell the difference between rests and minims. My husband struggles to understand the flute. We both struggle with the violin as they dog insists on joining in. I really do wonder how anyone 'learns' rhythm... wacko.png


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#3418 Zixi

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 10:34

@elemimele - seriously impressed with Dorothee. So thanks again for the name-drop. I bought Recorder Concertos (Telemann, Graupher and Schultze). It's beautiful. I also bought Petri's Let the Angels Sing which is exquisite - recorder and choir. Perfect! Not a bathroom in sight! laugh.png


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#3419 elemimele

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 13:10

I remember an interview she gave, where she showed the first recorder she ever played. Her mother bought 2 (one each mum and daughter) and that's how it all started. What a beautiful thing to happen! I can't find it any more, but in a more recent interview she admits to possession of more than 100 recorders, and to having played recorder in the bath...

Hope your dog is enjoying the violin.


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#3420 Zixi

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 17:26

That's a sweet story! I particularly like the recorder in the bath bit!

 

re rhythm dictation we started again from the first book just doing dictation and we're geniuses now... we can do it in one listen and need repeats only when the dog provides harmony.  However, at this stage the dictation is akin to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! So our performances are hardly  noteworthy! laugh.png


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