This very youthful photo of Frans Brüggen is inexpertly scanned from a November 1966 issue of the "Recorder and Music Magazine", the accredited photographer being Eddy de Jongh. This issue also has a fascinating article by Frans Brüggen on "Gesti" by Luciano Berio
prior to the premier of this work in Britain at Wigmore Hall, London on 07.12.1966. (I, personally, had to wait until 1982 before finally hearing it on a Michala Petri
I have seen Frans Brüggen twice in the flesh. The first occasion was on 19.10.1981 at Haus Delme in Delmenhorst, North Germany where he gave a brilliant virtuoso performance. I was absolutely fascinated at the spectacle of this very tall man and his huge hands performing acoustic miracles on the sopranino. I have lost my notes of that evening and unfortunately do not recall his programme. At that time I was just starting my musical apprenticeship as the leader of a youth recorder group, the The Schwanewede Recorder Consort
, so I was particularly amused to note that his posture was completely at odds with that given by Carl Dolmetsch
in his tutor. He played sitting, cross-legged with rounded shoulders hunched over his instruments - not exactly the ideal for youthful beginners - but as the saying goes, exceptions are needed to prove the rule.
The second occasion was a few weeks later together with my young ladies from the Schwanewede Recorder Consort on 14.12.1981, this time as conductor of his "18th-Century Orchestra". Here he gave a wonderful concert of standard works by J.S. Bach, G.P. Telemann, C.P.E. Bach and J. Haydn somewhat to the disappointment of my youthful companions who had hoped to hear more virtuoso recorder music.
I have just one recording by Frans Brüggen in my personal collection and that is:
- Teldec: Das alte Werk 6.41357 AH, Blockflötenwerke des Barock Vol. 1
(1) Konzert c-moll für Blockflöte (in f) für Streicher und Basso continuo von Antonio Vivaldi
(2) Variationen über "La Follia" für Blockflöte (in f) und Basso continuo von Arcangelo Corelli
(3) Dances and Airs a 5 von Anthony Holborne
(4) Variationen über "Doen Daphne d'over schoone maeght" für Blockflöte (in c) von Jacob van Eyck
(5) Sonate c-moll für Blockflöte (in f) und Basso continuo von Jean Baptiste Loeillet [de Gant].