Over the past three or four decades early music has changed from elitist and hardly known to being widely performed and appreciated. With the growing popularity of early music the recorder has emancipated from that rather ill-reputed “instrument to introduce children to music” to a serious musical instrument in its own right. Several highly successful recorder ensembles and soloists are proof of this change. One of these ensembles is the Flanders’ Recorder Quartet “Vier op ‘n Rij” (Four in a row).
The first CD contains music by well-known Italian Renaissance composers like Giovanni Gabrieli and Frescobaldi. This often has an almost organ-like sound. In several pieces the quartet is joined by a sonorous viola da gamba quartet and a harpsichord. The English so-called consort music for small instrumental ensemble on the second CD predates the Italian repertoire. Most of the recorded pieces have their roots in existing melodies and songs. Music by well-known composers such as William Byrd en John Dowland is combined with pieces by amongst others Christopher Tye and John Ward.
Recorder player Marion Verbruggen occasionally plays a fifth part. Th release offers detailed and polished performances in an intimate atmosphere of varied and attractive repertoire.