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Videos: recital 2013-2014

Here are three videos of my final recital of the academic year 2013-2014 recorded on June 12, 2014 at Sevilla’s Conservatorio Superior.

Beautiful 16th century diminutions:

C. de Rore & R. RognionoAnchor che col partire
Milena Cord-to-Krax, recorder (☞ Ganassi Tenor by Monika Musch)
Alejandro Casal, organ

This diminution is from Riccardo Rogniono’s diminution instruction book Passaggi per potersi essercitare nel diminuire terminatamente con ogni sorte d’instrumenti… (Venecia 1592).

A fine contemporary piece:

Calliope TsoupakiCharavgi
Milena Cord-to-Krax, recorder (☞ Ganassi g-Alto by Monika Musch)

Charavgi means the very beginning of dawn in greek. As the composer explains she tried not only to describe this moment but tu create a transformation of the musical material which ends just in the moment of the sunrise.

More 16th century diminutions, but the second of the three rounds on the Madrigal was embellished by myself:

J. Arcadelt & D. Ortiz & M. Cord-to-Krax — Recercada II, Diferentia & Recercada III after O felici occhi miei
Milena Cord-to-Krax, recorder (☞ Consort Tenor & g-Basset by Bob Marvin)
Alejandro Casal, harpsichord

This are 3 different versions of diminutions on the same madrigal: the first one are diminutions by Ortiz for the upper voice, the second version are diminutions by myself, after Ortiz, for the bass voice and the third version are again original diminutions by Ortiz as well for the bass voice. These appear as well in Ortiz’ great instruction book for diminutions Trattado de Glosas.

Today’s listening: Ecos Fidelles – Wilbert Hazelzet

Ecos Fidelles – Pieces pour la flute traversiere par M. Hotteterre (Glossa, 1996)

Wilbert Hazelzet, traverso
Konrad Junghänel, theorbo | Jaap ter Linden, viola da gamba | Jaques Ogg, harpsichord

Quick context:

  • Where? – Early 18th c. France
  • Who? – Jacques Hotteterre (1673-1763): wind instrumentalist and composer, ordinaire de la chambre du roy
  • What? Preludes, Suites & Aires for traverso

This is intense. Hazelzet’s thick and round sound in this recording is really full of intention. Specially in the slow movements he often inflates long notes, apparently reaching the limits of the instrument and provoking a very profound way of listening to the music: as if it was of major importance. And then there are the delicate piano notes — just (almost) everything seems to be in its place in a natural and at the same time challenging, sophisticated and elegant way. Which is also true for his ornaments, no extravagancy but coherence and beauty.

When it comes to the basso continuo interpretation in French baroque music in general, most of the time the density of ornamentation is much lighter than in the solo part, and I don’t see why it should be this way.

Apart from the well chosen famous Suites (the last one on the CD – in g minor – being really interesting for its very high continuo part in the first two movements), Hazelzet recorded the more seldom played Preludes from Hotteterre’s L’art de prèluder sur la flûte traversière and the less known French songs, Airs, ornamented by Hotteterre, which I enjoy very much. They are a great example of how vocal music can work perfectly for an instrumental emsemble.

So, here we have a superb album, which lacks any superficiality: highly recommended! I hope for a new CD of Hotteterre’s works by Mister Hazelzet. Or maybe the Concerts royaux by F. Couperin?

Glosas on O felici occhi miei — A video from last February’s students concert


J. Arcadelt & D. Ortiz & M. Cord-to-Krax — Recercada II, Diferentia & Recercada III after O felici occhi miei
Milena Cord-to-Krax, recorder; Alejandro Casal, harpsichord

Last February’s student concert at Seville’s Conservatory was on the topic of 16th century music. I played three different versions of J. Arcadelt’s madrigal O felici occhi miei: the first one are diminutions by Diego Ortiz for the upper voice, played on a consort tenor blockflute by Bob Marvin. The second version are diminutions by myself, after Ortiz, for the bass voice and the third version are again original glosas by Ortiz as well for the bass voice — these are played on a consort g basset by Bob Marvin.

The story of my Bob Marvin G basset

I fell in love with this flute the first moment I saw and tried it: the G basset from Bob Marvin’s 8′ consort. Since it’s one note higher than the more common F basset, it is a bit smaller and far more agile. Its sound is beautiful: rich imposing low notes and high notes that can be soft or strong.

With Bob, March 2013

With Bob, March 2013

Bob only sells it within his big 8′ consort (10 flutes) which I can’t afford. However, I decided to write and convince him to sell me this basset as a solo flute, although I knew that was quite impossible. Just a few days later, an incredible coincidence happened: the Flanders Recorder Quartet put an announcement on the internet: they were selling their Marvin G basset separately, and I was the happy one to get it! That was last summer. As soon as I got the flute I sent it to Canada and asked Bob to make a new cap and fontanella, as well as to clean and revoice it. Two months ago, in his annual travel to Europe, he brought it back to me. It was made in 1985, 3 years before I was born, and it sounds just as fine as a new one! So, after almost a year of waiting:

This is what it sounds like (min 2:12):

Arcadelt & Ortiz & Cord-to-Krax — O felici occhi miei
Milena Cord-to-Krax, recorder | Alejandro Casal, harpsichord

And this is what it looks like:

‘Music does not express this or that particular and definite pleasure, this or that affliction, pain, sorrow, horror, gaiety, merriment, or peace of mind, but joy, pain, sorrow, horror, gaiety, merriment, peace of mind themselves, to a certain extent in the abstract, their essential nature, without any accessories, and therefore without the motives for them.’

— A. Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung

New music scores — April 2013

I just uploaded a new selection of early music transcriptions to my Music Scores pagefour excellent pieces from different epochs:

De mi perdida esperança (facsimile)

De mi perdida esperança (facsimile)

De mi perdida esperança (transcription)

De mi perdida esperança (transcription)

  1. The earliest one is a polyphonic piece by Juan de Triana titled De mi perdida esperança from the Spanish manuscript Cancionero de la Colombina (possibly copied between 1460 and 1480).
    Lyrics only appear in the upper voice. There are many options to interpret the piece, one singer, two singers, three singers, no singers, recorders, viols, lutes…
  2. The piece Jay pris amours by Antoine Busnoys is from the Harmonice Musices Odhecaton A. It took me a long time to figure out the musica ficta towards the end of the piece, there seems to be no perfect solution, since there always remains a diabolus in musica. Any experts’ opinion?
  3. The Sonata duodecima a3, from Sonate Concertate, Libro Secondo, Venezia 1644, by Dario Castello shows the mastery of the Italian early baroque composer and instrumentalist. The tutti are majestic and powerful within the allegro parts, the homorhythmic adagios create coral effects (parlato) and the contrapuntal adagios are full of harmonic tensions. The soli of each instrument lead to great excitement through the free narration of melodies, accompanied by a basso continuo.
  4. And finally the last piece, Sonata terza, from Troisieme livre de Sonatas, Pour la flûte traversiere, Avec la Basse, was composed by French flute virtuoso Michel Blavet (1700-1768). I’m normally not a huge fan of Galant music but this piece, written for transverse flute, I find very beautiful. The facsimile is easy to read, but I transcribed the piece and transposed it a 3rd up, in order to play it on the alto recorder instead of voiceflute or transverse flute… So this transcription is useful to recorder players only, but i’m also adding the Finale files so you can transpose it back up if you wish so.

Enjoy & come back for new music scores next month!

For more information on why & how I’m doing the transcriptions click here.