posted on 2021-12-20, 13:32authored byJulia Miller
This article presents findings and conclusions from a recently completed Ph.D. project which researched the use of recorders in performing sacred music in Spanish cathedrals and churches during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. This study also examined interactions of the historical findings with artistic questions arising in twenty-first-century performance of sacred music repertoire. Paradoxically, while numerous sets of recorders were purchased by ecclesiastic institutions during the sixteenth century, most contemporary compositions did not specifically call for their use. As well, surviving sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century documentation is highly fragmentary regarding the participatory role of recorders in sacred repertoire of this period. Scholarly research and writing had not addressed this issue, and many questions persisted regarding any role of recorders in this repertoire. Sacred music of this era offers the modern musician an extensive and rich potential repertoire of supreme quality and beauty. Therefore, in seeking an historically informed basis for performance, this project asked if recorders were used in such works in Spanish ecclesiastic institutions during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and, if so, how.