Sirena Recorder Quartet
How many recordings of serial music by recorder quartets do you own? Exactly. It's either none, or this one.
This one consists of:
Karina Helene Jensen, soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders
Helle Nielsen, soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders
Marit Ernst, soprano, alto, tenor, bass and C bass recorders
Pia Loman, sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders
They formed an ensemble at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense, to perform both newly written compositions and early music. Sitting Ducks is all new stuff, some of it composed for this quartet specifically. There are ten compositions by five composers on this disc, the oldest of whom was born in 1930, the youngest in 1957.
Four of the compositions are by Ryohei Hirose (b. 1930), including the serial piece, Lamentation, and two others that are more archaic sounding, and very pretty. My favorite is the title piece, by Chiel Meijering (b. 1954), a brilliant piece of minimalism and lots of fun. The playing is superb throughout the recording, with wonderful intonation and great, playful creativity with timbre.
It is music that requires attention, preferably through repeated listening. It does not do well as background music. although, when I was playing the disc after I had just acquired it, five or six years ago, I was at my computer, typing, and I thought there must be a truck backing up right under my window (that beep beep beep beep), but, no… it was Sirena, having fun.