Film: Excerpts from Sound and Soul
The recorder collection of Frans Brüggen

Sunday October 27, 14.00-14.30, Theaterzaal
Free admission, no tickets require

Preludes from Jacques Hotteterre le Romain (1673–1763) - L’art de préluder (1719), Op. 7 & scales played by Kees Boeke and Walter van Hauwe in a film by Daniël Brüggen

Frans Bru?ggen.San Maurizio.Mil Vico Chamla.jpeg

Production manager - Machtelt Brüggen Israëls
Camera and light -
Daniël Brüggen, Ted Dellen
Sound engineer -
Guido Tichelman
Editing -
Daniël Brüggen Instrument preparation - Fumitaka Saito Location supervisor - Giovanni Paolo Di Stefano
Recorded at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
November 2015

Historical instruments, together with the study of rhetoric, performance practice, and original scores and parts, served musician Frans Brüggen (1934–2014) to construct a period ear for the baroque period. It turned him into one of the revolutionaries of the historical performance practice. In 1964 he started borrowing eighteenth-century recorders from museums in Basel, Brussel, Copenhagen, Nuremberg, and The Hague. In 1966 he first bought a historical recorder, the alto in g' by Gahn. He continued acquiring recorders, often in exchange for other instruments. They had to be in eminently playable condition and were to be by the greatest instrument makers of the Baroque, including Bressan, Denner, Haka, Hotteterre, the Stanesbys, and Steenbergen. He documented the sound of several of them on vinyl and had them all measured and drawn by the greatest recorder maker of his own time, Fred Morgan (1940–1999), publishing the resulting drawings with Zen-On in Japan. When in 1981 he acquired the sopranino by Hallett, the collection counted 17 instruments and he considered it complete. In that same year he founded his Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, likewise using historical instruments or copies thereof, and the recorder player definitively became a conductor.

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His recorders were not meant to stay in a case and be looked at. They are there to be played, even if briefly, and resurrect as much as possible the sound and soul of baroque music. In order for them to continue to do so, I asked his pupils and friends Kees Boeke and Walter van Hauwe to play all 17 instruments, also those that Frans did not record, in the environment of the eighteenth-century collections of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Our nephew the recorder player and moviemaker Daniël Brüggen filmed them, so that not only their sound can be heard, but also their blowing and fingering can be seen, along with their sheer beauty. Instrument maker Fumitaka Saito researched the collection and saw to its wellbeing. Welcomed again by Zen-On, this documentation of the recorders comes to complement the work of Frans Brüggen—as a tribute.

Machtelt Brüggen Israëls