Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In review--Recorders, Recorders, Recorders!

Maurice Steger
Giuseppe Sammartini
Sonate (for flute and bass continuo)
Harmonia Mundi (2007)

I found flautist Maurice Steger’s baroque recording Sonate (for flute and bass continuo) at the library and I’ve been listening to it often during the past 2 days. I also saw Italian baroque composer Giuseppe Sammartini listed on another CD I listened to recently so I wanted to explore his music further. His work is completely new to my ears but I love the composer’s clean, yet complex arrangements. I find Steger’s flute pierces through any chaos in my life and flute/recorder finds a home among the bassoon, harpsichord, organ, lutes, violincello, and harp that takes turns playing the bass continuo.

Steger, an accomplished flautist from Switzerland performs diverse music ranging from the baroque period to contemporary times. He performs on traverse flute and various baroque recorders, while leaving a favorable impression for the recorder. I realize that the recorder is an important player with early music, but I’ve never been fond of it, since I just recall those plastic recorders from grade school, which I will admit is a poor cousin to the exquisite recorders played on Sonate. The music on the recording ranges from playful romps to ethereal masterworks. My favorite pieces feature the flute/recorder with the harpsichord playing the bass continuo, but every piece among the 25 tracks has found a place in my heart---stunning!

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