Sweelinck: Keyboard works

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Sweelinck
LABELS: Philips
WORKS: Keyboard works
PERFORMER: Ton Koopman (virginal, harpsichord, organ)
CATALOGUE NO: 468 417-2 ADD Reissue (1981)
A welcome reissue of most of the keyboard music – 48 tracks on four discs – by the Orpheus of Amsterdam, as he was known during his lifetime (1562-1621). Sweelinck links the English virginalists with the North German school of organists and developed fugal and variation methods which culminated in those of JS Bach. He did not indicate instruments, and the organ pedal part in Psalm 36 on disc 4 arrives as a nice surprise. Disc 1 has virginals and harpsichords only, after which organs in Denmark and Stade (Germany) dominate. Notes on the instruments would have been welcome, and those on the music are fine as far as they go, but well short of ideal. The playing and recordings are energetic and clear. Adrian Jack