Archive for the ‘recommending music for recorder’ Category

So you’d like to build a good library of books about the recorder? recommendation nr. 1

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Dear Recorder Colleagues,


I have been asked by many students and colleagues around the world about important recorder books that they should have at home.

So I will publish a series of posts in each I shall describe a book which is certainly an essential (well, by my humble opinnion).

Each post shall contain details about the book, a list of its contents, and a direct link to where you may purchase it in a very good price – (as a community service…)

And so here we go:

One of my favorite recorder books of all time, is, without a doubt, the recorder book form “The Cambridge Companion” series

This book offers a complete introduction to the history of the recorder.

Foreword by Daniel Brüggen
The recorder in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Howard Mayer Brown
The recorder’s Medieval and Renaissance repertoire: a commentary by Anthony Rowland-Jones
The baroque recorder sonata by Anthony Rowland-Jones
The baroque chamber music repertoire Anthony Rowland-Jones
The orchestral recorder by Adrienne Simpson
The eighteenth-century recorder concerto by David Lasocki and Anthony Rowland-Jones
Instruction books and methods for the recorder c.1500 to the present day by David Lasocki
The recorder revival i: the friendship of Bernard Shaw and Arnold Dolmetsch by J. M. Thomson
The recorder revival ii: the twentieth century and its repertoire by Eve O’Kelly
Professional recorder players i: pre-twentieth century by David Lasocki
Professional recorder players (and their instruments) ii: the twentieth century by Eve O’Kelly
The recorder in education by Eve O’Kelly
Facsimiles and editing by Clifford Bartlett
A guide to further reading by Anthony Rowland-Jones.


This book is written in such an engaging manner, that it can be read through as a novel. I found myself reading it through from cover to cover in a few days and still enjoy coming back to it from time to time.

Performing Bach’s Actus Tragicus

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

I have had the chance to perform Actus Tragicus a few times during my professional life.

There are 2 versions of the cantata – in E flat major and F major -. recorder players cannot play the E flat one for the reason that they do not have an E flat (a small problem. yet crucial…) so they have to find creative solutions.

Speaking about that specific problem, here is Ton Koopman:


Notice the opening sonatina at the end of the video – with Marion Verbruggen on recorder.

Here you shall find a few videos of interesting performances:
Cantus Coln:


and it continues here:

G. F. Handel – sonata in C for recorder and b.c.

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

First few measures of the sonata

About the piece:
This sonata is without a doubt one of the finst there are – not only in Handel’s repertoire – but in the over all repertoire of sonatas for recorder. It is a 5 movement piece – each giving inspiring material for the player to work with, and leaving much space for the performer to give his own saying.

About op. 1

About the composer
From wikipedia : George Frideric Handel (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-English Baroque composer, who is famous for his operas, oratorios, and concerti grossi. His life and music may justly be described as “cosmopolitan”: he was born in Germany, trained in Italy, and spent most of his life in England. Born as Georg Friedrich Händel (IPA: [ˈhɛndəl]) in Halle in the Duchy of Magdeburg, he settled in England in 1712, becoming a naturalized subject of the British crown on 22 January 1727.[1] His works include Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Strongly influenced by the techniques of the great composers of the Italian Baroque era, as well as the English composer Henry Purcell, Handel’s music became well-known to many composers, including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Searching on the internet, there are quite a few performances to be found:

Munich Barouqe players featured here give a solid peroformance on recorder and organ.

The recorder player chooses beautiful ornaments, but every now and then he seems to rush them a little within the beat.
In the second movement – notice somewhat peculiar articlulation choices.
The 3rd movement is beautifuly performed..(but, please, anyone, help out the organ player…no page turner in the audience?)
4th movement (last – as they play the version without the gavotte) : Markus uses clever and witty ornamentations, artuculation and octave leaps…I am not sure I would pick such – but they work real nicely.

Yours truly – in a recording from 1999, which I rather still like today.
\ I am accompanied by Isidoro Roitman on archlute and Shalev Ad-El on harpsichord.

I shall eb willing to answer any question regarding the interpretation

purchasing the sonata:
In Andrea Borstein’s fantastic site Flauto Dolce one can of ra very small fee, get recorder music. All 4 recorder sonatas from op. 1 are published here in a fantastic edition.
In this page – you shall find many of Handel’s pieces for recorder. scroll down for the Sonata in C.

Eberhard Werdin – concertino for sopranino recorder and recorder quartet

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

There aren’t many pieces composed for a recorder quartet and a recorder solo player

Among these there is a lovely piece called concertino, for sopranino recorder and a recorder quaftet, by Eberhard Werdin. There is also a guitar part ad lib.

About the composer:
Eberhard Werdin (October 19, 1911 in Spenge – May 25, 1991 in Weilheim in Oberbayern) was a German composer and writer on music.

He studied in Hanover, Bielefeld and Cologne, and then became a schoolteacher. From 1955 to 1969 he was a lecturer at the conservatory in Düsseldorf, and in 1952 he became a professor at the Municipal Music School in Leverkusen.

Werdin wrote music for the stage, works for school orchestras as well as professional orchestras, choral music and chamber music, including a large number of works for brass instruments. He also wrote on aspects of musical education.

About the music:
The concertino is a very communicative piece, composed in neo-baroque style, rather straight forward to comprehend. The solo part should be performed by a good advanced player, able to lead the ensemble. The third movement includes a cadence, quite demanding technicaly.

Werdin on Youtube
Watch the recorder consort of the Israeli Conservatory of Music, Tel Aviv, perform in concert the 1st and 3rd movement of this delightful concerto.

The ensemble:

Elad Wasserstein (16) – solo in 1st movement.
Yotam Yisraeli (17)
Drora Bruck (…) – ensemble coach, standing in for Lila (13) who is sick on the concert’s evening.
Tomer Even (13)
Roi Maori (13) – solo in 3rd movement.

If you’d like to purchase the score:

Concertino By Eberhard Werdin. For solo Alto recorders, SATB recorders and Guitar. Recorder with Guitar. Published by Magnamusic Distributors Inc. (CON0193)
See more info…