Music by Sweelinck
and his pupils -
'... a brilliant performance ...'
This package of disc and programme notes
might well be called 'Sweelinck for Beginners'.
The music is played by Gail Archer, an American organist
and musicologist who also wrote the words.
Sweelinck was a teenage prodigy within an Amsterdam dynasty
and he irreversibly influenced the evolution of music
in northern Europe including England.
He taught many pupils composition and keyboard performance
and himself composed for organ and/or harpsichord.
When Sweelinck's students left Amsterdam for their home countries
they took with them manuscript copies of the great man's organ works
with the result that over seventy pieces survive today.
Organist Gail Archer identifies three strands in Sweelinck's
keyboard works; a) toccatas, fantasias, and 'distinctive echo fantasies
suitable for harpsichord or organ'; b) idiomatic settings of chorale
melodies linked to a prelude, and c) secular songs and dances designed as
themes with variations.
Copyright © 28 August 2005
George Balcombe, London UK