This is an F alto in 415 Hz after the original by Jan Steenbergen in the Frans Brüggen collection. Historical examples of the work of Steenbergen vary a lot per individual recorder. The one in the Brüggen collection has a wide bore that is more reminiscent of Stanesby than of other Dutch recorders. However, the sleek turning is more Dutch and German in style. The Steenbergen is therefore an excellent all-round recorder, being both full in sound and having the agility and easy high notes necessary for repertoire by composers like Telemann.
Personally I prefer to make these recorders with single holes for the bottom two holes. It’s historically more accurate, since the majority of old recorders have single holes. But it above all sounds better and more cohesive. Of course it can be made with double holes just as easily.
The Steenbergen can be made in a variety of woods. European boxwood, like the original, is excellent. Castello is a very good alternative, being lighter and less effected by the climate. Castello has a reputation of being used for budged factory produced recorders. This is a real shame, because high quality Castello (what I use) is quite a wonderful wood with a close straight grain and attractive light color. Unlike European boxwood it doesn’t warp as much. Other tropical woods are also suitable.
Steenbergen alto made of castello wood.
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Tom de Vries Recorders
Eysingapad 30, 9064 KK Aldtsjerk, The Netherlands
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