Recording Date: 26, 27 & 28 september 2007
Recorded at Nederlands Hervormde Kerk Broek (Fryslân) by Skarster Music Investment C.V.
Production & distribution: Skarster Music Investment
Producer: Jos Boerland
Recording, editing and mastering: Jos Boerland
Design & Pictures: Jos Boerland
Text: Raymond Honing
English Translation: Jonathan Talbott
Raymond Honing flauto traverso
Cees Van Der Poel harpsicord
Cassandra Luckhardt cello
The world of music has been significantly altered in the past centuries. Today, almost everything is directed toward the mastery of but one instrument. But an ordinary Kapellemeister in the 18th century played many and various instruments, led orchestras, gave lessons, composed and improvised. We find the subject of improvisation particularly intriguing, and we have experimented with improvising preludes in concert before sonatas. It has become an interesting and somewhat daunting experience. We improvised several preludes during the recording of this CD, and we have used the two most interesting.
Though the history of music may have undergone many changes over time, there is one constant factor in that development that returns with great regularity, and that is Italy.
In his book, On Playing the Flute (1752), the famous German flutist and composer Johann Joachim Quantz asked, "How many great and celebrated composers Italy showed us, up to the end of the first thirty years of this century?" and thereby demonstrated the authoritative place that Italian music held during the Baroque. Quantz knew the excellent quality of Italian singers and the superb transposition of their style into instrumental music by composers such as Corelli. He made an important dictum about the difference between the Italian and the French style: "It is undeniable that in Italian music just about as much depends upon the performer as upon the composer, while in French music far more depends upon the composer than upon the performer."
With statements like this, a musician is forced to question his own performance: "What am I doing with this music? Why am I playing these pieces?" and, "Why on historical instruments?" An easy (and common) answer to the last question is, "Because the composer intended it that way." That is not the reason why I play the traverso; I simply love the instrument's beautiful sound!
In spite of all the research into historical performance practice, this recording remains a performance of 18th century music by musicians from the 20th century. There is no doubt that our thoughts and perceptions are influenced by the past 250 years. One tries as much as possible to live in another time, but finally one is another kind of person, with other baggage and living in another societal context. With this point of view and in an attempt to forge a connection between these two worlds, I asked the artist Esther Hofstetter to make paintings for this booklet that show her reactions to the idea of the Italian baroque.