Decca Classics has signed a 16-year-old recorder player – Lucie Horsch - the first recorder player to be signed to the label. The Dutch musician's debut album will be released on October 7 and will feature four Vivaldi concertos – including La notte and La tempesta di mare – and the transcribed arias ‘Cum Dederit’ from Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus and ‘Vedro con mio diletto’ from the opera Giustino.
In a statement, Decca indicated that they hope the signing will both promote the instrument and also engage the large number of children who encounter it through music lessons at school. Alexander Buhr, Decca’s Managing Director, said: ‘We are enormously excited to welcome Lucie to the Decca family. She is full of energy, and a player of remarkable musicality and virtuosity. We believe Lucie is a perfect ambassador for her instrument, which is so meaningful to millions of kids in the UK and abroad.’
Horsch herself also indicated she is keen to break down preconceptions about the instrument. ‘There are five-hundred different fingerings, so you can really colour your playing with different choices. And vibrato gives yet another level of expression. Even though the recorder has a smaller dynamic range than, for example, the violin or the cello the potential for expressive detail and nuance is enormous,’ she said. 'I loved the pure, authentic sound – it’s so beautiful and vulnerable. And because you blow directly into the instrument, everything you do, you hear immediately. For me it’s the instrument closest to the human voice, but it has an even greater range: a single player can switch from sopranino to alto in a moment.'
From a musical family (her father is principal cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Horsch represented Holland in the Eurovision Young Musician Contest in 2014, and last year won the Concertgebouw Young Talent Award. She began learning the recorder aged five.