‘Simple Gifts’ on triple/double/solo recorder. A celebration of simplicity and simplifying. Melody written by Joseph Brackett (1797-1882), adapted for recorder(s) and performed by Hein Zegers. No instruments were harmed in the making of this clip. 😉
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and Delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we will not be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
Part I. Soave from Telemann Sonata TWV 40:101 in Bb Major on baroque recorder. Explicitly written for these two simple instruments without basso continuo. Performed in the Heilig Hart Chapel in Heverlee (Leuven, Flanders / Belgium) by Hein Zegers & Krista De Mey.
J.S. Bach’s Prelude BWV 999 on baroque alto recorder (A=415). With the sun almost magically breaking through the clouds when the musical tension dissolves at the end. An excellent (and extremely challenging!) etude in using the recorder’s entire span of almost 3 octaves. Arranged and performed by Hein Zegers.
Originally an etude written for ‘Lautenwerck’, an enigmatic instrument that is often characterized by having 3 octaves and extra soft bass notes (gut strings).
Performed in KULeuven University’s KADOC Chapel (Documentation and Research Center on Religion Culture and Society). This venue has brilliant acoustics for pseudo-polyphonic pieces such as this one. Pseudo-polyphony is a techique in which the recorder excels thanks to its extremely transparent and direct articulation.
Marial Hymn ‘Es ist ein Ros entsprungen’ (first printed in 1599) on double recorder / double flute modeled after the Flemish instrument maker Joannes Hyacinth Rottenburgh (1672-1765). Played by Hein Zegers in the church of the Leuven Beguinage (a tiny houses complex for Beguines, lay religious women who lived in simple communities without taking vows or retiring from the world). The Leuven Beguinage church has excellent acoustics for this instrument. Hymn also known as ‘Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming’, ‘A spotless Rose’, ‘Er is een roos ontsprongen’, ‘Er is een roos ontloken’, ‘Una rosa ha brotado’, ‘Dans une étable obscure’, ‘Det är en ros utsprungen’, …
Performance in ‘Merlin’s Cave’ at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, where mythical King Arthur is said to be born. Brilliant acoustics – when the tide is low, that is. When the tide is high, this cave is entirely filled with water. Cheers to Julian Goodacre for introducing me to the Cornish Double Pipes tradition and some of its tunes that can be played on double recorder!
String Ensemble Rosamunde, conducted by Peter Pazmany, invited Hein Zegers to play together with them as a soloist on recorder. What a joy to play alongside such passionate musicians! Here are a few impressions (photography by Paul Rogier):
This is where H.D. Thoreau lived for more than two years in the middle of the woods near Walden Pond. This is where he liked to play his flute. This is also where he got his inspiration for the literary masterpiece ‘Walden’, one of the most influential texts within the Voluntary Simplicity movement.
J.S. Bach: ‘Air on the G string’ on double flute / double recorder by Hein Zegers. Using two alto recorders modeled after Joannes Hyacinth Rottenburgh (1672-1765) as echo flutes. Played in Autobahnkirche Medenbach, where long-distance travelers come and go, day and night, and could do so at any time during this performance.
Bluesy version of ‘We wish you a merry Christmas’ on double recorder / double flute. From classic to swing to crazy. On 2 alto recorders refined with natural beeswax, according to an ancient ‘tibiae pares’ / echo flute tradition. By Hein Zegers.
Last time I visited Prague, I was still a teenager. I hitchhiked around Europe back then, playing street music and searching for the meaning of life. Now, almost 30 years later, I’m doing almost the same, still not much wiser, but having a great time… Here, I’m Playing Smetana’s “Moldau” on the Charles Bridge. Meanwhile, the Moldau River quietly runs underneath.
Playing ‘Alle Menschen werden Brüder’ on two recorders. In Amman (Jordan), also formerly known as ‘Philadelphia’, the ‘city of brotherly love’. On top of its most famous landmark: the Amman Citadel (Jabal al-Qal’a).
G.F. Händel Sarabande (from the Keyboard Suite D min) HWV 437, first published 1733. Well-known from the Stanley Kubrick Movie “Barry Lyndon”. Variations for double flute (recorder) by Hein Zegers. Using two alto recorders modeled after Joannes Hyacinth Rottenburgh (1672-1765) as echo flutes.
The most beautiful melody ever written by Frédéric Chopin (according to himself): Étude Op. 10, No. 3 (“Tristesse”), 1832. Arrangement for alto recorder solo (2013) by Hein Zegers. Using the old technique of quasi-polyphony. The recorder is one of the best instruments to play quasi-polyphony, thanks to its very direct articulation.
Eurovision Theme Music “Te Deum” by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704). Arrangement for double recorder by Hein Zegers. Instruments: two alto recorders modeled after Joannes Hyacinth Rottenburgh (1672-1765), prepared and used here as echo flutes.
John Cage’s famous 4’33” piece on solo recorder. 3 Parts: I Tacet (on soprano recorder), II Tacet (on alto recorder), III Tacet (on soprano recorder). Performed in a public stairway with excellent acoustics for this instrument. Pedestrians may appear at any moment.
Solo recorder improvisation on “Love me Tender”. Playing up to 3 voices simultaneously (quasi-polyphony) in 3 variations by Hein Zegers. Song originally known as “Aura Lee” (1861), written by W.W. Fosdick & G.R. Poulton.