"You must know that all musical instruments [...] are of less value than the human voice. That is precisely why we try to learn from it and imitate it.
"You must know that all musical instruments [...] have less value than the human voice in comparison with it. For this very reason we strive to learn from it and imitate it." This is the opening sentence to the most important explicit recorder instruction book of the Renaissance. Printed in Venice in 1535, the "Opera Intitulata Fontegara" still sets the standard for our understanding of music and especially the virtuoso play of diminutions. The recorder is at the center of this first great work by Sylvestro Ganassis, but it does not contain ready-made pieces that could be performed. Rather, it is a stylized snapshot of diminution practice at the time, which is to be re-experienced in this concerto in its own transmissions and improvisations. According to the clear instruction from the first chapter of the Fontegara, the instruments have the task of "imitating the human voice with all its abilities" and Ganassi is convinced that the recorder can succeed in this feat.