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pastorpest use of the recorder in Celtic music (19) RE: use of the recorder in Celtic music 10 Feb 00


I am a serious recorder player, and have played in period instrument groups and even in an orchestra for Britten's opera "Noyes Fludde" which uses recorders. Baroque recorder music uses tongueing with every note, phrases are like a string of pearls: each note is distinct. Most recorder how-to books assume this classical music technique. The penny whistle likes to immitate the pipes and most tongueing is elminated. Even when a note is repeated, separation is often effected by a cut or other ornament rather than stopping the air. There is lots of sliding from one note to another with whistles by graually lifting or seting a finger on the holes. I have found that most whistle techniques can be transferred to the recorder and then your recorder playing is much more versitile.

I strongly urge you to hear the recordings of Hesperus. Scott Reiss, the recorder player in Hesperus, is a highly skilled and sensitive recorder player. One Hesperus recording is "Unicorn" on the Dorian label (www.dorian.com). The sliding techniques with "blues" recorder are obvious on this CD. Two more recent Hesperus CDs are "Celtic Roots" and "Early American Roots" (www.maggiesmusic.com). Hear these and you will never question how appropriate the recorder is in Celtic music again. Sorry I have no idea how to do the blue clicky thing!

One further note. It is hard to convince beginning recorder players that the best plastic Aulos ,Yamaha, and Zen-On recorders are superior to wooden recorders except for high quality (and expensive!) wooden recorders. I have good wooden recorders that get used before audiences: mostly I practise on plastic.


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