English (United Kingdom)

5 Which is the “original”  sound?

5.1 Early music (to beginning of 17th  century)

For the music of the Renaissance, up to the beginning of the 17th century, a particular  recorder type can hardly be specified absolutely as the authentic instrument. Recorders of the Ganassi design are not absolutely certainly the instruments of this time. Nor were they usual for the Italian diminutions repertoire. The Ganassi recorder is not surely “original” in the form in which it is currently  proliferating. On the other hand it puts useful possibilities at the player’s disposal: to meet the music from this time particularly and from there straight to performances for which it may appear to be suitable.        

Usually the literature of  this time was rarely or only loosely conceived for specific instruments. Therefore it seems quite legitimate simply to use that instrument with which it  “sounds best”.

5,2 Early Baroque solo literature (e.g.  van Eyck):

Likewise, the Ganassi recorder is often used for the literature of the 17th century. Alternatively, the typical early baroque recorder with its narrowed-down bore and its somewhat overtone-rich, finer sound picture would be probably more appropriate. On these instruments the notes of the upper register have a different kind of character and really sound somewhat “sensational”,  giving undue emphasis to high points, contrary to the Ganassi instruments, whose high register appears more natural.        

5,3 Late Baroque music

For the music of the late baroque one can align oneself well towards the respective national styles  and/or the different emphases of the particular music.        

Thus the instruments of the English school, such as for instance by Bressan, are particularly suited to music where tonal subtlety is required and which particularly calls for colour  differentiation.

One thinks here  immediately of Händel’s recorder music, but naturally also of the entire French music.

Slimmer instruments, such as those from Nürnberg, typically from Denner, are suitable particularly for literature for which speed, brilliance and virtuosity come to the fore, and where one is dependent on very agilely and fast-speaking instruments.

Telemann’s recorder works can hardly be thought about without Denner recorders. Also the Italian  music of the time is very much “at home” on these instruments. Naturally one may object that for example, Corelli’s works were moved straight to London, and therefore it  is “historically correct” it to play “La Follia” on an instrument after  Bressan. However it is a valid point of view that one simply may decide which type makes the music sound best and represents the ideal tool in the hands of  the player.

Because ultimately, musical instruments represent no end in themselves, but are always tools for the use of the player.