08 April 2012

Dan Laurin: Entertainments for a Small Flute

Easy CD-DA | FLAC tracks | Covers | 376 Mb
Date CD: 1998 | BIS | 74:35

As is widely known, the recorder has been around for centuries the ultimate amateur instrument as it were. By the end of the Baroque Era the instrument was not only the most popular instrument with gentlemen musicians but also with professionals featured prominently in public concerts as well as in theatres and opera houses. Dan Laurin, recorder virtuoso and scholar, takes us to 18th century England to peek in on the recorder and how it was perceived and listened to with this fully realized CD package not only with music but also a generous booklet of notes by David Lasocki that takes you in and out of the history of the recorder, its players and the music of that era.

Thoroughly enjoyable, the CD feature music by composers that may not be household names today. You will be introduced to John Baston, William Babell and Robert Woodcock, all English players and composers who lived and worked in London in the first half of the century as well as the Italian Giuseppe Sammartini, who is the most famous of the group given his reputation as the finest oboe player of the era. He immigrated to England to live and find work in London's theatres and concert halls. They all toiled to make a living and "hear the great applause" from the theatre audiences as they played "entertainments" in between intervals and intermissions of plays. These "entertainments" became important elements and added attractions to rival theaters like Drury Lane and Lincoln's Inn Fields, providing strenuous competition as they jostled for paying customers.

Laurin is a first-class recorder player, winning awards as well as being in demand as a soloist and clinician. He is ably assisted by the Orchestra "Van Wassenaer" a small period-instrument ensemble that specializes in music of the Baroque. Irresistibly entertaining, this is an album that offers a unique opportunity to hear (and read about) the recorder and some of the music and players that made it so popular during its heyday. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Terrence London

Giuseppe Sammartini: Concerto for 5th flute, strings & continuo in F
John Baston: Concerto "For Sixth Flute" No.2 in D major
William Babell: Concerto No.1 in D major
William Babell: Concerto No.4 in A major
Robert Woodcock: Concerto No.2 in A major
William Babell: Concerto No.3 in D minor
William Babell: Concerto No.2 in D major
Robert Woodcock: Concerto for flute & orchestra in D major
Dan Laurin: flutes
Orchestra "Van Wassenaer"
Makoto Akatsu


George Zarkadas said...

This is without a doubt the most exciting and moving recorder repertoire ever. Dan Laurin's virtuosity and the ensemble's perfomance defy description. I can't stop listening to this album.

Toutatis said...

Thanx, George, for your review.

le_maitre said...

Thanks, man - much appreciated!