Marion Verbruggen & Arthur Haas
Georg Philipp Telemann: Concerto in C major
Johann Sebastian Bach: Trio Sonata for organ in F major, BWV 529
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier: Sonata No. 2 in g minor, Op. 91
Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in d minor for lute, BWV 997 (orig. in c minor)
The recorder, known as the "flute" for many centuries, was a staple ensemble instrument up until about 1800. Henry VIII's posthumous effects listed 76 recorders among his many musical instruments, and recorders were used extensively by Baroque composers such as Purcell, Bach, Handel, and Telemann, especially to create atmosphere for love scenes, or to denote pastoral beauty, bird song, or supernatural events such as the appearance of witches or angels. It was also highly popular as an instrument for amateur musicians and played at home in family ensembles.
Gradually, though, the recorder or "common flute" was replaced by the "German" or traverse flute, a wooden flute with a conical bore and one key, perfected around 1680. Bach, who was writing in the early 18th century, used both types of flutes in his compositions, but by the end of the century the recorder was all but obsolete except among aficionados. Like other earlier instruments, the recorder's tone was not dynamic or strong enough for the growing orchestras and larger concert halls of the 19th century. Since the early 20th century the recorder has had a renaissance of its own - not only do we hear it now again in early music ensembles, but also in the works of modern composers.