‘Petite Fleur’ on Nonslider Chromatic Harmonica

‘Petite Fleur’ by Jazz legend Sidney Bechet, played on Nonslider Chromatic Harmonica by Hein Zegers. The instrument is one of the very first Nonslider Chromatic Harmonicas ever produced in this particular form. Yet it feels strangely familiar. When I was a little kid, I’ve been doodling around a lot with (what later turned out to be) my granddad’s old broken chromatic harmonica with its slide missing. I didn’t have a clue back then, but this is actually the basic idea behind this newest innovation. Feels like coming home! So I thought it would be fitting to play one of my granddad’s favorite 45 rpm records on it: Sidney Bechet’s ‘Petite Fleur’.

‘Satin Doll’ Jam @ Jazz Dworp

Hildegarde Vandenhove (Voice) Hein Zegers (Harmonica) John Baboian (Berklee College of Music Professor – Bass) Sara Raemdonck (Piano) Anis Wachters (Guitar) jamming together on Satin Doll by Duke Ellington at Jazz Dworp 2021. Video: Hans Verrijcken. Thanks to Halewynstichting vzw.

‘Simple Gifts’ on recorders

‘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.

Bach Prelude BWV 999 in KADOC chapel


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.

Double Flute Performance in Leuven University Parish Church

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’, …

Playing in Merlin’s Cave at Tinagel Castle (Cornwall)

Playing double flute in Merlin's Cave at Tintagel Castle (Cornwall)
Playing double flute in Merlin’s Cave at Tintagel Castle (Cornwall)

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!

Playing with String Ensemble Rosamunde

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):

Händel Sarabande HWV437 on double / echo flute by Hein Zegers
Händel Sarabande HWV437 on double / echo flute by Hein Zegers

Concerto Mancini by Ensemble Rosamunde (conductor Peter Pazmany) and Hein Zegers (recorder solo)
Concerto Mancini by Ensemble Rosamunde (conductor Peter Pazmany) and Hein Zegers (recorder solo)

Rossini's cat duet on recorder and cello with Hein Zegers and Lissa Keersmaekers
Rossini’s cat duet on recorder and cello with Hein Zegers and Lissa Keersmaekers

Playing at Thoreau’s Hut at Walden Pond

Playing recorder at Walden Pond Thoreau Hut
Playing recorder at Walden Pond Thoreau Hut

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.

Bach ‘Air’ on double flute

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.

Performing on the Charles Bridge in Prague

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.

Händel “Barry Lyndon” Sarabande HWV 437

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.

Chopin Tristesse on solo recorder (Étude Op. 10, No. 3)

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.

John Cage’s 4’33” on solo recorder

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.

Love Me Tender on solo recorder

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.