The Versatile Recorder – It’s Not Medieval Anymore”


            We had a terrific presentation from Fred Kersten, on the history, construction, tonal range, music and capabilities of the Recorder. His gift to us was a blend of information, humor, and beautifully played music.  Fred, a highly educated and talented  musician and college professor punctuated his informative, and often humorous, commentary by playing beautiful musical compositions that ranged through Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods  to “Falling in Love with You,”  and all on different types of  Recorders.  Among the compositions he played were pieces by Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi.  Fred provided the group an excellent handout that complemented his dialogue with expanded explanations of the pieces he played. It also clearly described the history and development of the Recorder. Fred briefly talked about the structure, material composition, musical tonal range and cost of the different types of Recorders that existed throughout history, and in the present day.  Particular attention was given to Renaissance and Baroque Recorders.  Fred described the cost-benefits of different types of wood and plastic instruments. 

            There is no question that Fred showed us the full range and capabilities of this unique and flexible instrument.  As he played each piece, he did so with the passion and flair of someone who loves this instrument and has played it a good portion of his life.  Fred fingerings and the arrangements he played were done in such a way we were not only hearing a beautiful melody, we were also hearing layers and waves of sound.  Boy, can he move his fingers!  It was great presentation!!  One we will all remember!!!


                                                                                                     As reported by Steve Caine