I wish to thank Polish Composers’ Union for their kind invitation to perform at Warsaw Music Encounters Festival (Festiwal Warszawskie Spotkania Muzyczne). We’ve been asked to perform our Glosas program (whose music scores can be downloaded for free here) at a concert that will take place on May 16th, 2014 (19:00h) at the Royal Castle’s Great Assembly Hall.
These days I’m working on a new solo program I’ll premiere next month within the Erta Iberia (to whom I want to express my gratitude for their invitation to perform) annual meeting in Portugal. It’ll be a three days long event (May 2nd-4th) in the beautiful city of Porto that will include guest speakers, workshops, concerts, instruments exhibition and talks on a wide variety of subjects — you can attend the whole event by enrolling here. Since I’ll perform in front of an audience entirely made up of recorder players1 (professionals, teachers and students), makers and other recorder specialists, I thought it’d be a good idea to design a program whose main concept is neither the chosen repertory nor my own performance, as usual, but rather a third element: the instruments themselves. And the reason is I’ll be using a handful of state of the art recorders by some of the most influential makers within the instrument’s modern history, which I’m sure will add another layer of interest to my performance. The title of the program is a case of sheer serendipity, since it comes from the curious fact that all of the makers’ family names start with letter m: Bob Marvin, Ernst Meyer, Fred Morgan and Monika Musch. I first chose a couple of representative recorder models by each maker and then a piece to showcase it. Finally —and it’s a bit of a more technical note— the context of a solo concert seems specially appropriated to show each recorder’s virtues and qualities, since I’ll be able to adjust my blowing to get the exact sound I want from each instrument without the normal pitch restrictions imposed by an accompanying instrument. Here’s the program:
A Short & Incomplete Sound History of the Recorder Through its Modern Makers — Chapter M (Ma-Mu)
Ma — Recorders by Bob Marvin (USA)
Alfonso X el Sabio (1221-1284)
Tantas en Santa María (CSM 173)
Pero que seja a gente (CSM 181)
A madre de Jesucristo (CSM 172)
On La Spagna tenor
Me — Recorders by Ernst Meyer (CH)
Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
Tango-Étude no. 3
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)
Flute sonata in A m H.562: Poco Adagio – Allegro – Allegro
Mo — Recorders by Fred Morgan (AU)
Jacques Hotteterre (1673-1763) & Michel Lambert (1610-1696)
Traits pour la Flûte-a-bec & L’amour
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Partita in C m BWV 1013: Allemande – Corrente – Sarabande – Bourrée Anglaise
Mu — Recorders by Monika Musch (DE)
Aurelio Virgiliano (fl. 1600)
Kees Boeke (*1950)
And here’s the list of recorders I’ll be performing on:
- Marvin: cylindrical g alto, pythagorean (2003) & Praetorius consort tenor (2004)
- Meyer: Denner alto (2009) & Denner-Bressan voice flute (2010)
- Morgan: Bressan alto (1997) & Stanesby soprano (1978)
- Musch: Schnitzer tenor (2007) & Ganassi g alto in one piece (2003)
- Portuguese translation by Inês Moz Caldas, muito obrigado!: “Ao desenhar um programa para um evento dedicado à flauta de bisel, onde grande parte do público que assiste ao concerto será composto, provavelmente, por flautistas (profissionais, estudantes e amadores) e outros especialistas do mundo da flauta, pareceu-me boa ideia abordá-lo não apenas desde uma perspectiva do repertório ou da minha própria interpretação, como é habitual, mas também dos próprios instrumentos que utilizarei. O principal motivo é ter a sorte de utilizar instrumentos construídos por alguns dos construtores de flautas mais influentes da história moderna da flauta de bisel, até ao ponto de, por si só, constituir, para além das obras e -esperemos- da minha interpretação, um terceiro foco de interesse para o público, sobretudo tratando-se de um concerto integrado num encontro especializado. O título do programa surge da curiosa coincidência de todas as flautas que usarei no concerto serem de construtores cujos apelidos começam com a letra m: Bob Marvin, Ernst Meyer, Fred Morgan e Monika Musch. Primeiro seleccionei um par de modelos de flauta representativos de cada construtor, e depois uma obra que me parecesse especialmente interessante para tocar em cada instrumento. E por último -embora esta observação seja um pouco mais técnica- o formato de concerto para flauta a solo parece-me, para além do mais, especialmente adequado para mostrar as qualidades de cada instrumento, já que poderei sempre ajustar o ar para conseguir o meu som ideal em cada instrumento sem as restricções na altura do diapasão que me imporía qualquer instrumento de acompanhamento durante o concerto”. ↩
Last summer (June 15, to be precise) I had the pleasure to do a quick recording session for Enrike Solinís’ latest record for the Glossa label, Colores del Sur, along with a group of really great musicians. Everything happened pretty quickly: I got Enrike’s invitation to collaborate (via SMS) just a few weeks before, but I only put my hands on the music score upon entering the studio, and only then was I finally told what it was all about (to be fair, Enrike told me the name of the piece and sung it a little bit over the phone the day before). The piece happened to be Aga Riza, a makam “as compiled by the Moldavian prince-philosopher Dimitrie Cantemir”, with Enrike playing the Turkish lavta. It was a rather intense experience, since I had to mentally transpose the piece while sight reading it, and the resulting fingerings were pretty difficult both on the tenor and g alto recorders (I recorded it with both flutes, so that we could have both low and high pitch versions). The thing is I can’t really tell much more about the CD, which is a bit weird considering that it has been available since November — I’m still waiting to get it from Enrike, but I enjoyed a lot the few audio excerpts I could listen to (and watch the video below!). Only for recorder players: after considering a few options, I chose a Schnitzer tenor by Monika Musch (my favorite tenor —by far— when I have to play at 440Hz) and a Ganassi g alto by Morgan/Ronimus (which sounds amazing) for the recording.
COLORES DEL SUR
Baroque dances for guitar
Enrike Solinís, baroque guitar, theorbo & lavta
- David Jiménez Chupete & Dani Garay, percussion
- Miren Zeberio, baroque violin
- Josetxu Obregón, baroque cello
- Pablo Martín Caminero, violone
- Iñaki Aranegi, theorbo
- Vicente Parrilla, recorder
Finally. All five movements from Corelli’s Sonata I Opus 5 in F major are now available and published above as a video playlist (© Actidea; more info about the concert here). And below are the sheet music version of the same videos, containing the whole sonata:
Click below for the first four movements’ videos. And stay tuned: last Corelli movement coming soon.
Recorded live on August 16, 2013 at XIV Noches en los Jardines del Real Alcázar de Sevilla (audio © Actidea).
Thanks to Miguel Ángel González from Actidea. Read more.
Here are, published together as a playlist, the first three movements from the Bach E minor Sonata BWV 1034 (© Actidea). The camera run out of battery just before we played the fourth movement, so only the audio was recorded, with which we made a sheet music video series (see below). I’ll soon publish another version of the third movement, which I performed as an encore. Coming soon!
Watch the rest of the Bach sonata videos here or click below. I’ll be posting some videos in the next days from a concert I performed last summer with lutenist Miguel Rincón which, somehow, meant my return to the great Baroque repertoire after quite a few years.
Left to right: Rami Alqhai, Vicente Parrilla, Miguel Rincón & Javier Núñez. Photo by John Finn, courtesy of East Cork Early Music Festival
“At its best, the group’s style came as close as anything I’ve heard to an early-music jam session, with caution thrown to the wind.”
The Irish Times, October 16, 2013
“Ideally the ‘playing in’ [...] would take about five one hour sessions over as many days. If he was not entirely happy with the instrument, or he was doing more experimentation, this could occasionally extend to twenty hours!”
Dieter Mücke, Recorders Based on Historical Models: Fred Morgan – Writings and Memories, p. 45
Dieter remarks that recorder maker Fred Morgan’s “emphasis was always on the quality and never on the speed of production”. A couple of amazing things here: first, Fred would never deliver an instrument without a playing in ⟷ adjusting process that was repeated no less than five times for each instrument: “Not one would leave the workshop unless he had “played it in”, agonised over its voicing, and was convinced that this was the best he could possibly achieve” (p. 45); “Many hours were also spent playing and adjusting the recorders.” (Joanne Saunders, p. 41). This allowed his recorders “to begin life as complete singing instruments; ready to play for an hour at a time; ready for practice, rehearsal or performance from the first breath” (Alexandra Williams, p. 36); and second, the fact that he employed three people as blowers for the daily playing in sessions: recorder players Alex Williams, Rodney Waterman, and Natasha Anderson.
“Were you the only maker in the world to sell recorders that were blown in?”
Alexandra Williams, Recorders Based on Historical Models: Fred Morgan – Writings and Memories, p. 36
Not really, but certainly one of the few makers who used to do it, and with a passion.
On a similar note, Bob Marvin told me he uses to play his own instruments for about two years before delivery, and I must say every instrument I’ve ever got from him beared a serial number mark from two years before…
“El virtuosismo que mostró Parrilla rondó por momentos lo inverosímil”.
Diario de Sevilla, 18 de agosto de 2013