Now & Then
On their latest disc, the Danish-Swedish Sirena Recorder Quartet treats US to a wide-ranging selection from their regular concert repertoire. Now & Then illustrates the huge variety of sounds and moods that can be achieved by just four recorder players - admittedly playing on more than twenty (!) different recorders between them, as well as on a toy piano appearing in the Swedish composer Staffan Mossenmark's Childhood. The repertoire spans from a 14th-century estampie - a renaissance dance - to Chiel Meijering's Sanctus, composed in 2003, by way of Vivaldi and Bach. A characteristic aspect of Sirena's live performances is the choreographic element that the ensemble incorporates in order to intensify the experience. This can be sampled on a number on video clips, for instance on YouTube, but the quartet's interest in movement is also audible on the present recording; rhythm and drive are guiding lights in Fulvio Caldini's Clockwork-Toccata or the Jogger by Dick Koomans, both inspired by the minimalism of Steve Reich, but also in Tarquinio Merula's La Lusignuola ('nightingale'), from the very beginning of the 17th century.