Tuesday, February 27, 2018

concert review: Flanders Recorder Quartet

I stopped off at the Trianon on Sunday because I was to review a recorder quartet. A recorder quartet? Not only had I never reviewed one before, I doubt I'd ever heard one at a professional level before. A recorder - you know - is that small vertical flute made of plastic that nine-year-olds play, not very well.

Well, these were grown men, they played very well indeed, and their recorders were made of wood and were of various sizes, up to about six feet high. (There's an even bigger one in one of the photos with the review, but we didn't see that. It probably wouldn't have fit in Trianon.)

A couple points that didn't get into the review. One is that the quartet, perhaps because they don't play in a semicircle like a string quartet, are known at home as "Vier op 'n Rij," which means (the program book doesn't tell you this) "Four in a Row."

The other is that, also unlike a string quartet, they trade parts around a lot. Given the number of instruments they have, nobody could specialize in just one anyway. But, for instance, when I describe one player as having the high-pitched (and consequently small) lead part in the piece Meditation, he's the same guy holding the six-foot-tall bass instrument in the photo just above it.

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