Wild Wood was commissioned in 2013 by Ardingly ArtsFest and Fontanella Recorder Quintet. It was first performed in front of a celebrity audience, including festival patron Dame Judi Dench, at Ardingly ArtsFest’s opening concert. The unusual-looking instruments – fondly known by some as IKEA recorders due to their peculiar, boxy design - immediately caused a stir of interest at its premiere. Since then, the work has had an unusually high number of repeat performances for a contemporary work. Fontanella have championed the work, performing it regularly across the UK and in 2014, the ensemble filmed the work at the Lights Theatre, Andover. This performance has had over 4,000 views on YouTube and it is from this online exposure that the piece has gained wider audiences and interest, most recently from the Mozarteum University, Salzburg where students of renowned recorder virtuoso Prof. Dorothee Oberlinger have begun working on the piece.
The work has an exciting international future then, one which will be further established by the launch, at the Royal Greenwich International Festival in November 2017, of Fontanella’s third album The Nightingale’s Response which features a new studio recording of Wild Wood alongside the music of Purcell, Saint-Saëns and others. We hope the publication of the work, alongside this new recording, will allow many more ensembles to enjoy the work on their own IKEA Paetzold recorders.