Notes & Reviews:
Early Birds grapples with Baroque music's representation of birdsong, an ideal that was featured in music particularly effectively during this period. The recorder player Simon Borutzki has chosen works for his musical bird show that challenge his instrument: many composers from Jacob van Eyck, François Couperin and Georg Friedrich Handel to Louis Claude Daquin, from German countries, France, Italy, and England have been inspired by birds' tweeting and twirping, first and foremost by the nightingale. Their music tries to package these sounds in stylised music. Borutzki performs the compositions on a number of historical recorder types which afford the creative instrumentalist with a broad range of tone colours: these include the sopranino, the fifth flute, the sixth and fourth flute, alto recorders, the voice flute, as well as tenor and bass recorders. The CD's programme can be seen as a short narration of a bird's life: after a number of examples of a bird's flights in freedom, the bird fights against being caged in Johann Adolph Hasse's aria di bravura "L'augeletto in laccistretto", and in Christoph Graupner's orchestral suite in G major (GWV 466), the movement "Uccellino chiuso" tells of a captured bird that laments in its cage and finally drops dead from its perch. Georg Philipp Telemann's "Funeral Music for a Canary Bird Experienced in Art", however, leads on to the happy ending: for the feathered friend awakens to new life in Handel's aria "Lo son qualfenice". Borutzki's recorder playing is joined here by Julla von Landsberg's soprano voice, Torsten Übelhör's harpsichord, Heidi Gröger's cello and viola da gamba, as well as Thor-Harald Johnsen's theorbo and Renaissance and Baroque guitars.