Compiled by Nicholas S. Lander
About the Webmaster
Nicholas S. Lander
My interest in music of the distant past has centred largely on the recorder, though I have played a number of renaissance wind instruments as well as the trombone. In the past I have taught recorder at several tertiary institutions. Occasionally I teach private students who have exhausted other local resources.
The Word on the Street
Not Just the Alto: Sizes and Types of Recorder in the Baroque and Classical Periods, by David Lasocki (2020)
According to the standard history of the recorder, the consort went out of fashion in the early seventeenth century, the alto (British: treble) became the almost exclusive size of the Baroque period, with the solo sonata as its main vehicle (apart from a handful of concertos for smaller sizes), and the instrument virtually disappeared around 1740. In the last 20 years, however, copious evidence has been uncovered, by David Lasocki and other researchers, that creates a new view of recorder history, which recognizes that between 1600 and 1800 many sizes of recorder were employed in a rich and broad repertoire of instrumental and vocal music. This is the territory that David explores in his latest book, drawing on written evidence (inventories, advertisements, sales, purchases, and employment records) and the surviving repertoire. The book aims to raise consciousness about what Hans Oskar Koch called ‘special forms’ of the recorder by demonstrating that they were not as special as both he and we have supposed. A must-read for all lovers of the recorder as well as anyone interested in early woodwind instruments and their music. Over 400 pages, including an introductory summary chapter, and index of terms and 15 musical examples.
Exploring an Instrument’s Diversity: The Creative Implications of the Recorder Performer’s Choice of Instrument, by Carmen Troncoso-Cáceres (2019)
This PhD thesis by Chilean recorder player Carmen Troncoso-Cáceres is now available online.
Carmen’s research examines the variables that arise in selecting particular instrumental models within the context of music making and the creative possibilities afforded by those choices. Her study combines research into recorder models and their origins, use and associated contexts with research through performance. Her doctoral portfolio comprised six performance projects, encompassing new, collaboratively developed works for a variety of recorders, presented through performance and recorded media. The artistic outputs are accompanied by critical commentary, examining how the creative work addresses core questions that arose. In addition to performance, most of her projects resulted in original compositions that invite other performers to explore the instrumental diversity of the recorder, encouraging a renewed, creative perspective.