The two selections offered here are adaptations the composer made of movements from a choral partita (variation set) for organ he composed in baroque style when he was studying the organ. In English language hymnals, this Lenten tune, possibly by Martin Herbst (1676) is sung to "Forty days and forty nights...". The first movement will recall the slow movement of Alessandro Marcello's oboe concerto, which Bach adapted for the organ (BWV 974). The second employs the same ground bass that Purcell used in 'Musicke for A While." To hear the tune on which these variations are based, click on the YouTube video link.
In addition to a multi track recording by the composer (duration: 6:00), three Play Along mp3s are provided. One features just the organ accompaniment. (You and a colleague play the recorders.) The other two are missing one recorder part each. (You play either the alto or tenor.)
An deceptively easy read for 2 recorders and keyboard, this simple yet lush duo could have come directly out of a Bach cantata. The writing for recorders provides plenty of opporutnities to play expressively, letting the plaintive melodies be your guide as they intersect and come together again. The keyboard part is designated for the organ, but if that is not available the piece works almost as convincingly on a piano. In the second movement a plucked cello or double bass would add a fantastic sound to the bass line; even a contrabass recorder could be employed, though some bits would need to shift octaves to stay in range.