Rodney Waterman, recorder


Giovanni Bassano came to St Mark’s Venice in 1576 where he distinguished himself as director of instrumental music. Giovanni came from the same family of musicians and virtuoso recorder players who settled in England in the early 1500s to enhance the cultural life of the court of Henry VIII. Although Bassano is chiefly remembered for his grand choral works, his eight ricercarte are models of their kind, and show us the extraordinary technical skills that instrumentalists in Italy had gained.

In this new CD, Rodney Waterman plays the ricercare on a Ganassi recorder by renowned maker Fred Morgan. The captivating tone, and clear voicing of this instrument is matched by Rod’s sure technique, with apt phrasing and sparingly applied vibrato distinguishing the performance of music he so obviously loves. Nevertheless, I suggest listening to each ricercarte one at a time to appreciate the form used by Bassano, each beginning with a simple melodic and rhythmic idea that is taken through a series of transformations. A strong recommendation. – Robert Small