New recording for old flutes

playlist ZF002_HRThe Renaissance flute consort Zephyrus Flutes, under the direction of Nancy Hadden, has just released their latest CD, Aux Plaisirs, aux Delices Bergeres.   This is the second in a series of French music for Renaissance flutes, based on research that Nancy completed during her AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts at Southampton.

The recording highlights the unique sound of the early modern flute.  Zephyrus play instruments made by Martin Wenner (Singen, Germany), which are modelled on the flutes now in the Accademia Filarmonica,Verona.  Amongst the best preserved and most beautiful examples of the forty or so original flutes which survive, they are at a low pitch of a=408, keyless, with characteristic narrow cylindrical bore and six finger holes. Their outward simplicity belies a characterful and sophisticated sound and a lightness and flexibility of response.  In the hands of a skilled player, the Renaissance flute is a vehicle for both virtuoso fireworks and the most delicate vocal expressiveness. It is a sound rarely heard today.

The new CD includes dances, diminutions for flutes and airs de cour from the 17th c. French court, and features soprano Julianne Baird in addition to the flute ensemble.  The first CD, Pierre Attaingnant, Chansons Musicales, Paris, 1533, featuring chansons for four Renaissance flutes, was released in 2013 to excellent reviews:

‘Nancy Hadden combines the artistry and technique of a fine flautist with a rare commitment to the Renaissance flute. As a result, she has long been the leading exponent of this instrument. She combines agility with beautiful sighing notes and tender sounds, proving again and again that the 16th century flute could be as expressive as its Baroque, Classical and mechanised descendants’.   Early Music Today

‘The Renaissance flute consort is all too rarely heard today, especially in proportion to its importance during the 16th century. Hearing Nancy Hadden’s flute consort, Zephyrus Flutes, is a rare treat…The playing is poised and delicate…a joy to hear’.   Music Web International

Listen to a track of the new CD below – for info on how to purchase both CDs, see Nancy’s website.