Thursday, 13 December 2007

28. Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck - Organ Works (c.1600 - 21)


Title: Psalms From Geneva
Performer: Masaaki Suzuki
Year: 2006
Length: 1 hour 9 minutes


So this is a collection of Organ Works by Sweelinck and even though I am not a particular fan of Organ pieces I can definitely tell why his inclusion is important here. There is a thread going from Sweelinck to Bach and the way Sweelinck's music sounds is very much an underdeveloped form of what the great baroque composers would do with the instrument.

The music is overall bright and airy with an almost Christmassy feel to it, possibly because most organ airy and bright music feels like that. Still, it is remarkably restrained and the flights of fancy never last too long, as would befit a good Calvinist.

The lack of exuberance does not mean that it is simple music, the pieces sound very demanding indeed and Masaaki Suzuki does a great job in this recording, playing Sweelinck on a 17th century Dutch Organ in Kobe. An important piece of music which is more fascinating by what it hints at in the future than really for the excitement of the music itself.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Sweelinck's influence spread as far as Sweden and England. It was carried to the former by Andreas Düben, and to the latter by various English composers such as Peter Phillips, who knew Sweelinck personally. The close connection Sweelinck and Dutch composers in general must have had with the English school of composition is highlighted by a number of facts. For instance, Sweelinck's music appears in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, which otherwise mainly contains the work of English composers. Also, Sweelinck wrote variations on John Dowland's internationally famous Lachrimae Pavane, and John Bull, who was probably a personal friend, wrote a set of variations on a theme by Sweelinck after the latter's death.

Glenn Gould plays the Fantasia Chromatica in D Minor on a piano:

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