OLDEST FROM 14TH CENTURY
The recorder, once known as the English flute, was very popular from the 16th to 17th centuries. During this time major composers such as Bach, Telemann and Handel wrote music for the instrument which also featured in the plays of Shakespeare. Recorders from the Renaissance have a sound which Simon James describes as ‘‘more mellow’’ while Baroque period recorders are ‘‘brighter’’. The oldest surviving recorder dates from around the 14th century and early paintings show the instrument being used during the Middle Ages and the Crusades. During the 18th century the recorder lost its appeal because its soft sound could not compete in orchestras with instruments like the violin. But it regained popularity during modern times with Belgiumbased Flanders Recorder Quartet considered one of the best in the world. – Source: solarhaven.org Email Simon James at patowen_james@ hotmail.co.nz for information on the New Zealand Society of Recorder Players.