Sweelinck: Keyboard Music
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Let us not be too pious!—even in the presence of music so full of religious reference—the notes for the present issue refer to the composer, born near Amsterdam and later known as the ‘Orpheus of Amsterdam’, as a "clubbable man" and make the observation that organ recitals were used to keep people out of inns and taverns! They could have worse consequences: the English composer Peter Philips came to hear Sweelinck play and, as a Catholic, found himself under arrest. Such is the background of this varied and somewhat neglected music. It ranges from large-scale fantasies to small dance forms, often with a sense of verve in the composer's inventiveness of harmonies and form. His legendary ability to fashion variations by improvising at the keyboard are evident in the examples here, based both on secular and sacred melodies—even on plainchant—which are as full of life and character as the Dutch street-scene paintings of the period.

An important set of discs full of surprises and delights, all, as ever, expertly played by Christopher Herrick.

CDA67421/2  150 minutes 34 seconds (2 discs)
THE BEST OF 2004 (Goldberg Early Music Magazine)

‘This is really inspiring playing with some compelling insights into the structure of Sweelinck's often monumental pieces’ (Early Music Review)
‘This set is obviously the outcome of a thorough, deeply pondered approach. It more then renders justice to Sweelinck's music by bringing out its variety, inventiveness and fanciful exuberance. Stro ...
‘Herrick, who is up to all the technical demands made by the music, aptly uses early keyboard fingering, while his carefully chosen registrations … are a real treat for the ear’ (Goldberg)