NARRATOR: THE QUARTET NEW GENERATION IS OUT TO PROVE THAT THE RECORDER CAN BE A MODERN CLASSICAL INSTRUMENT. HERE'S QNG MEMBER HANNAH PAPE:
Pape: Everyone knows the recorder. But they don't know it like this...
MUSIC: KITES FLYING BY VIKTOR EKIMOVSKIJ (1992)
NARRATOR: IT'S NOT JUST THEIR REPERTOIRE--IT'S ALSO HOW THEY PERFORM IT. THE FOUR WOMEN FROM GERMANY AND AUSTRIA, ALL IN THEIR TWENTIES, ARE IN CONSTANT MOTION ON STAGE. THEY STAND UP, SIT DOWN, CHANGE SEATS... AND THEY TELL SOMETHING ABOUT THE PIECES THEY PLAY, ESPECIALLY THE ONES THEY COMMISSION. SUZANNAH FROELICH SAYS IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO TALK WITH THE AUDIENCE:
Fröhlich: because it's another possibility to get in touch with the audience. And we hope this is another possibility to get the contemporary music closer.
MUSIC: 'WICKED' by Michiel Mensingh (2001)
NARRATOR: THIS PIECE, 'WICKED', BY MICHIEL MENSINGH, WAS WRITTEN FOR QNG IN 2001. IT'S PERFORMED ON PAETZOLD BASSES‹BOXY RECORDERS WITH KEYS THAT HIT THE INSTRUMENT AND MAKE THE CLICKING SOUNDS YOU HEAR IN THIS PIECE.
MUSIC: WICKED (CONTINUED)
NARRATOR: QNG PLAYS ON 30 OR 40 INSTRUMENTS DURING A CONCERT, FROM THE SOPRANO RECORDER‹THE VERSION WE'RE USED TO-- TO THE BASS RECORDER... AND BEYOND.
Fröhlich: you can go lower to the sub contra bass, even. It's like 6 and a half feet.
NARRATOR: FROELICH HERSELF IS QUITE TALL
And only the taller people can play it actually, because the others can't reach the holes.
MUSIC: Tall P. by Pete Rose (1992)
NARRATOR: QNG STARTED IN 1998 WHEN SUZANNAH FROHLICH, HANNAH PAPE AND ANDREA GUTTMAN WERE STUDENTS AT THE AMSTERDAM CONSERVATORY. FROM THE BEGINNING, THEIR SIGNATURE HAS BEEN TO MIX THE REALLY OLD WITH THE REALLY NEW. HEIDE SCHWARTZ JOINED THE GROUP IN 2001:
Schwartz: We like to make contrasts because it opens the ear for something new if you have- if you have something which you already know? And you have something that you don't know but you can make some... connections
NARRATOR: THEY OFTEN PERFORM "LA GENTILE" COMPOSED AROUND 1617 BY ANDREA CIMA.
MUSIC: LA GENTILE
NARRATOR: IT'S TOO SHORT TO PLAY ON ITS OWNŠ
Guttman: ... so we combine it with a piece by Keyla Orozco, a Cuban, young composer we met in Amsterdam.
NARRATOR: THAT'S ANDREA GUTTMAN
Guttman: And this piece starts very traditional, almost like renaissance harmonies and counterpoint, and then slowly it gets to very weird clusters- And we don't make a break between the pieces.
MUSIC: A-CUATRO BY KEYLA OROZCO
NARRATOR: SUZANNAH FROLICH SAYS IDEALLY, NO ONE NOTICES THE TRANSITION:
Fröhlich: You know, it's so nice because, um, that the people don't realize they're already in the contemporary music, because it means that the combination really works
NARRATOR: QNG AVOIDS TELLING THEIR AUDIENCES HOW TO LISTEN. HANNAH PAPE SAYS WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE MUSIC IS LESS IMPORTANT THAN HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL:
Pape: We try to show that you do not have to speak and explain everything. Just to listen to it and realize that something will happen with you.
NARRATOR: I'M SARAH ELZAS IN NEW YORK.
MUSIC: Encore (CONTINUES)
This piece aired on The World
on August 22, 2005 and on WFUV
on February 11, 2006. A revised version aired on Radio Netherlands' Euroquest
on October 11, 2005 (rebroadcast August 14, 2006).
Producer: Sarah Elzas
Edited by Margo Melnicove
Recorded in New York, NY
Photos: David Pape
- Kites Flying by Viktor Ekimovskij (1992, performed 7/04, Hallein, Austria)
- Wicked by Michiel Mensingh (2001, performed 7/04, Hallein, Austria)
- Tall P. by Pete Rose (1992, performed 7/04, Hallein, Austria)
- La Gentile by Andrea Cima (17th century, performed 6/05, Detroit, MI)
- A-Cuatro by Keyla Orozco (2001, performed 6/05, Detroit, MI)
- "Encore" (performed 6/05, Detroit, MI)