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adrian brown

More Renaissance Polyphony on Anglo concertina

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I wanted to try out a 5-part piece and managed to record Josquin's beautiful chanson Plusieurs Regretz a couple of weeks ago. There are several problems playing this sort of thing on an Anglo, the first of which is that the same note is often simultaneously played in more than one of the parts - as a held note in one and as part of a run in another. Sorting this out on an instrument where you have to decide when precisely to stop each note is quite difficult - on a lute or harpsichord, this is not such an issue due to the natural decay of the note. Perhaps I should take a few lessons with an organist, though at least they have 2 keyboards to manage this. A second problem is to reduce the dynamic surges that come with every change of bellows direction. Partly this is the downside of having such a wonderfully responsive instrument, but I would be interested to hear from duet players how they deal with this. (I'm playing the Anglo in a very duet-like way, only making  bellows reversals at the end of phrases, or where I have specific notes in only one direction.)

 

Adrian

 

 

 

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Wow!!  Again, excellent playing as we have come to expect from you.  Thank you.

 

A little bit about the instrument....?

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Thanks! It's played on my Dipper Baritone Anglo, an instrument that Colin and Rosalie made for me 3 years ago. It has the Jeffries 38 layout with an extra RH button on the right side for the high d#/eb. That means I have the full chromatic range over the middle two octaves in both bellows directions and I can therefore decide whether to play in the normal bouncy in/out Anglo fashion, or more like a duet as is the case with this piece. It has aluminium reed frames to keep the weight down and the most amazing dynamic range of any concertina I've yet played. It's also extremely air efficient and uses very little air even when playing loud. It very rapidly became my weapon of choice for any new piece and 3 years on, I feel I am still learning heaps from it and hopefully I'm starting to do it some justice!

 

Cheers,

 

Adrian.

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Hipnotic, Adrian!!. :rolleyes:

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Well done!

If - as some maintain - the Anglo ever had limitations, you and the Dippers have overcome them impressively!

Cheers,

John

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Thanks a lot! Are there any duet players out there who may have some tips for me? Unlike them, I am sometimes forced to make bellows changes at what could be an inappropriate moment within a phrase. I have several strategies for dealing with this, some involving the air button to limit the "pressure front" of the change, but I would like to know how they deal with say a long phrase with many notes, that is too long for a single bellows run?

 

Thanks again,

 

Adrian

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Hi Adrian,

I'm always surprised to see all what it is possible to play with an anglo, apart from the great ITM of course. The classical music that I've heard untill now on anglo was mostly melodic, so I guess that it's even much more difficult to play this kind of 5 parts polyphonic music. But the musical rendition here is wonderful and the sound of the instrument very nice too!

I've just started to play 2 voices baroque music on my duet, so I don't have any tips to give and much more to learn, but I noticed sometimes the same difficulty to find the good place for the bellows changes. For example the minuets from the Notebook for Anna Magadalena Bach are all organized with 2 bars musical phrases, but sometimes a phrase finish on the first beat of the third bar while the other voice begin. So you don't have other choice than to cut a note in one of the 2 phrases, or to rewrite the music for the concertina... In melodic or harmonic music I try to think like if I were playing a wind instrument to find the best moment to breathe, but in polyphonic music the problem is that we just have one bellow and it's impossible to make each voice breathe separately.

Maybe I'd like to try to play this piece somedays to see what is possible with the duet...

Didie 

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Thanks Didie,

 

That's exactly the sort of problem I have and on the Anglo, a lot of the bass notes are only available in one direction, so when a held chord contains one, then another only available in the opposite direction, I need to make a bellows change as unobtrusively as I can. I always try to make the bellows changes as 'quiet' as I can in this music, but there is always a little sort of "presssure front' that is audible and that often goes against what I want to do musically. Perhaps with practice I will manage to hide it as much as possible, at least that is what I am hoping :-)

 

Thanks again,

 

Adrian

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As a former Anglo player who made the switch over to (Hayden) duet a few years ago, I'm happy that I no longer encounter situations where a note that's only available in one direction forces an inopportune bellows direction change. That said, your recording here almost makes me wonder if I should have stayed the course! Amazing playing. I really enjoyed it. As a listener, I was not distracted by bellows-change issues; just enjoyed the musicality of the performance. :)

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