Day 13 | Recorder31
Today we start alto (or treble) recorder week of our month long event Recorder31. Upcoming this week is our alto playing competition which starts tomorrow, an in conversation and recording with Chris Orton, a video premiere by Anna Stegmann and La Risonanza and more!
We thought we'd take the opportunity today to take a quick look at some of the recorder models which are named after historic models or makers.
Pierre Jaillard was born in France in 1663 but later changed his name to Peter Bressan while living and working in England from 1688 onwards. It is not known for sure where he studied instrument making, but it is thought that he learnt his craft from the famous Hotteterre family. Due to the fortune he made we know that he was a very prolific maker, and his surviving instruments today include 51 recorders and 3 transverse flutes. The Bate Collection in Oxford have an original alto by Bressan in boxwood, as well as a bass recorder. The alto has been copied by numerous makers as it still plays well today. Bressan recorders have a notable round beak and tend to have a very rich sound, particularly suited to solo sonatas and chamber music.
Johann Christoph Denner
Johann Christoph Denner was born in Leipzig in 1655 to a family of horn-tuners. He went into business in Nuremberg in 1678 making mainly oboes and recorders. Two of his sons followed him into instrument making, and it is thought that the 68 surviving instruments attributed to Denner are in fact from their workshop. Denner recorders usually have a slightly narrower beak, and they are particularly suited for faster passagework due to the clarity of tone.
Jean-Hyacinth-Joseph Rottenburgh was born in Brussels in 1672. He was a woodwind maker who produced not only recorders but traverse flutes, piccolos, oboes and bassoons. His son Godefriod-Adrien followed him into the family buisness making oboes and recorders from around 1701-1720. Some recorders survive but not in the quantity of other makers, and they tend to be at lower pitches than some of their contemporaries. Nowadays the Rottenburgh name is most associated with Moeck recorders which were designed in collaboration with Friedrich von Huene.
Thomas Stanesby Jnr was an English woodwind maker born in London in 1692. As with the makers above, he was born into a family of instrument makers. He made recorders, traverse flutes, oboes and bassoons, and his instruments started to show the move away from the decorate baroque designs to the more simple exterior of instruments made in the classical period. Stanesby recorders tend to have a short beak and are perfect for solo sonatas and chamber music playing.