Consort with a Swing
was one of several works which I purchased in June 1983 intended for use by the Schwanewede Recorder Consort. It later proved to be one of the best purchases I had ever made as it was played intensively by The Schwanewede Recorder Consort
, the Blue Monday
and Blue Tuesday consorts . It has four pieces:
Red Rose Rag
, Fig Leaf Rag
, The Yale Blues
and Bach Goes to Town
The preface has a delightful performance note which I would like to quote:
The arrangements in this collection may be described as "fun music for serious players", providing a (wholly musical) relaxation from the more traditional consort repertoire.
Their successful performance will depend not only on skilful ensemble playing but also on an appreciation of the nature of swing. The key to this is "quavers inégale" - an unexpected but appropriate parallel with the Golden Age of the Recorder!.
Over the years it has been my wry amusement here in Germany in trying to pass on this message in a recorder culture steeped in baroque whereby the first beat in the bar comes like a Swiss precision clockwork with all the charm of a machine gun bullet. Nevertheless there have been sufficient occasions and enough people (no names mentioned) able to make the transition that I can say the efforts have been more than worthwhile.