Pieces for Recorder

This collection of recorder pieces is a work in progress. The bulk of it was created in 2009–10. My initial inspiration for this project was my wife taking up the instrument, so I started out writing simple pieces for her. Many of the works here are semi-didactic in purpose, most probably because of this original inspiration; other pieces, particularly the ones composed last, are very difficult and require not only perfect technique, but also a particularly good instrument.

Styles and techniques here range from the simplest quasi-improvised melodic lines (Mary's Song, The Simple Piece) to Baroque-ish contrapuntal pieces (two fugues and a chaconne) and post-war avant-garde. The latter is particularly well represented, with four indeterminate pieces composed using various chance procedures. Techniques vary from piece to piece. For example, Grasslands embellishes and melds two different melodies that gradually exchange various characteristic features, and at the end a passage indicates the presence of another melody somewhere beyond the boundatires of the piece. The Invisible Labyrinth is much more traditional, simply stating a melody in the first part and its inversion in the second, except that both are so heavily ornamented that the plan of the piece is difficult to distinguish by ear.

Another piece, Shrimp vs. Environment (somewhat inspired by Max Ernst's titles), may look like a controlled improvisation, but is actually just a piece of program music with no mathematics behind it. Still another piece, Nightbirds, employs the serial idea on the basic level the recorder provides. And on the whole, quite a few pieces are good exercises, studies of various time signatures, rhythmic ideas, and so on, intended for, and used by, amateur recorder players.

Although the score indicates the descant (soprano) recorder, most pieces work equally well on instruments of any range, and some are best suited for other ranges (e.g. Chocolate 5 and Meadows for tenor recorder).

 


PDF score of all movements

Audio:
Environments:
  – Grasslands
  – Meadows
  – Nightbirds

Indeterminate Pieces:
  – The Photograph
  – Brad's Contribution
  – A Ring of Stars
  – Felicity

Songs:
  – Three Cherries
  – Mary's Song
  – Evening Song
  – Song of the Fall

Dances:
  – Bird Dance
  – The Healing Dance
  – The Lazy Dance
  – The Silly Dance

Baroque:
  – Chaconnette
  – Fuga 1 (Prestissimo)
  – Fuga 2 (Moderato)

Miscellany:
  – Shrimp vs. Environment
  – Retired Warrior vs. Memory
  – Chocolate 5
  – The Simple Piece

New Pieces for Recorder:
  – The Invisible Labyrinth
  – Helix Swing