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Robert Woolley - Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: Works for Keyboard, Volume 2 (2009)

Posted By: Designol
Robert Woolley - Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: Works for Keyboard, Volume 2 (2009)

Robert Woolley - Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: Works for Keyboard, Vol. 2 (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 389 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 149 Mb | Artwork included
Classical, Renaissance/Baroque | Label: Chandos Chaconne | # CHAN0758 | Time: 01:03:41

As well as being one of the most famous organists and teachers of his time, Sweelinck was the last and most important composer of the musically rich golden era of the Netherlanders. His output comprises seventy works for keyboard, which represent some of the most richly imaginative music of the period, yet none was published during his lifetime. Robert Woolley has a large discography on Chandos, both as a soloist and as a member of The Purcell Quartet, the ensemble he co-founded in 1983. An internationally regarded authority on the music of this period, he broadcasts regularly for the BBC and has performed and recorded on many historic instruments. On this recording, he plays two instruments: a modern copy by Malcolm Rose of the Lodewijk Theewes claviorgan of 1579, a harpsichord-organ combination which has belonged to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London since 1890; and a rarely heard virginal, or muselar, by the firm Adlam Burnett, based on an instrument of Ioannes Ruckers from 1611 in the Finchcocks collection.

What a fine composer Sweelinck was! This second volume of his complete keyboard works (by my reckoning there are enough for four) drives the point home by presenting several of his best compositions, including the imaginatively patterned variations on Esce mars and Unter der Linden grune, the weighty and implacable Fantasia crommatica (how Bach would surely have admired this piece) and the hauntingly beautiful variations on Mein junges Leben hat ein Endt. Other works here include a take on Peter Philips’s Pavana dolorosa, a lovingly plumped-up version of Dowland’s Lachrymae, and a handful of improvisatory toccatas. Sweelinck brings together in his music many of the influences current in the first years of the 17th century – Italian flair, north European seriousness, English resonance and melodic grace – and makes of them a rich and rewarding brew, maintaining coherence by the force of his own good taste and sound compositional judgement.

Robert Woolley used just an organ in Vol 1 but here switches between two marvellous harpsichords – Malcolm Rose’s currently muchin- demand copy of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s 1579 Theewes claviorganum, and a deep and mellow copy by Derek Adlam of a 1611 Ruckers virginals. His playing, too, covers most bases. Without forcing the pace, he shows brilliant fingerwork in Esce mars or a piece like the Toccata C2, and achieves clarity and composure in the more melodically driven works. The toccatas occupy a convincing middle ground between the improvisatory and the written-out in feel, and tempi are for the most part expertly judged (only Mein junges Leben seemed a bit slow to my ears). In other words, these are pleasingly natural performances. There is not much competition in the world of Sweelinck recordings, but this stands out as an excellent harpsichord release in its own right.

Review by Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone

Very few, if any, composers have so strongly influenced the development of keyboard music in Europe as Girolamo Frescobaldi and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Their music found wide dissemination and they were much sought after as teachers. Through their pupils they had a lasting influence on composing for the keyboard which extended as far as Johann Sebastian Bach. Frescobaldi has been given much wider attention than his Dutch contemporary. In 2002 the latter's complete oeuvre for keyboard was recorded for the first time.

Sweelinck did not compose music only for keyboard. He published four books with polyphonic settings of the Psalms on the melodies of the Genevan psalter. A collection with Latin motets, called Cantiones sacrae, was printed in 1619. Moreover he wrote chansons, madrigals and canons. Last year (2010) the Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam finished its project of recording all of Sweelinck's vocal music, under the title 'The Sweelinck monument'.

But Sweelinck will always be first associated with the keyboard, and that was already the case in his own time. In particular in Germany his reputation as an organist was such that young keyboard players went to Amsterdam to study with Sweelinck, or were sent to him by their employers. Nicknames like 'Orpheus of Amsterdam' and 'the German organist maker' bear witness to the high esteem in which he was held. The Chandos disc is the second Robert Woolley has devoted to Sweelinck's keyboard music. On his first disc he played the organ. I don't know whether a complete recording is planned, but with these two discs one gets a very good impression of the Sweelinck’s art. In this second volume Robert Woolley plays two instruments. The first is a claviorganum: an organ with a harpsichord on top of it. This instrument is a copy of a claviorganum built by Lodewijk Theewes in 1579. It’s currently preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Woolley only plays the harpsichord of this claviorganum. The second instrument is a copy of a pair of virginals built by the famous Flemish keyboard builder Ioannes Ruckers in 1611. This is a so-called muselar, a typically Flemish form of virginals with the keyboard placed off-centre to the right.

I have much enjoyed the performances by Robert Woolley who plays at a consistently high level and seems to have grasped the character of Sweelinck's music quite well. The fiery performance of the brilliant Toccata 9. toni which opens the programme sets the tone. I prefer his harpsichord in this oeuvre, and the alternation between the harpsichord and the very beautiful virginals only enhances the attraction of this disc.

Review by Johan van Veen, MusicWeb International

Robert Woolley - Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: Works for Keyboard, Volume 2 (2009)



Robert Woolley - Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: Works for Keyboard, Volume 2 (2009)



Robert Woolley (harpsichord and virginal)

Recording Date:
October 20, 2006 - October 21, 2006
Recording Location:
Glynde Church, East Sussex

Tracklist:

01. Toccata Noni Toni, SwWV 297/L 16 (5:20)
02. Esce mars, SwWV 321/N 3 (4:33)
03. Paduana Lachrymae, SwWV 328/N 10 (5:20)
04. Allemand (Gratie), SwWV 318/N 7 (3:53)
05. Toccata C2, SwWV 283/L 20 (3:29)
06. Die flichtig Nimphae (Vluchtige nymph), SwWV 331/not in N (2:08)
07. Toccata Primi Toni d2, SwWV 286/L 15 (3:56)
08. Mein junges Leben hat ein Endt, SwWV 324/N 6 (6:25)
09. Toccata a 3 G2, SwWV 289/L 23 (2:18)
10. Pavan Philippi, SwWV 329/N 11 (7:03)
11. Toccata Secundi Toni g1, SwWV 292/L 21 (2:38)
12. Von der Fortuna werd ich getrieben (Engelse Fortuijn), SwWV 320/N 2 (3:12)
13. Unter der Linden grune (Onder een linde groen), SwWV 325/N 8 (5:22)
14. Fantasia Crommatica a 4 d1, SwWV 258/L 1 (8:04)


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Robert Woolley / Sweelinck - Keyboard Works, Volume 2

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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2018-09-09 16:34:47

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Robert Woolley / Sweelinck - Keyboard Works, Volume 2
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR13 -7.16 dB -22.60 dB 5:20 01-Toccata Noni Toni, SwWV 297/L 16
DR13 -6.94 dB -22.20 dB 4:33 02-Esce mars, SwWV 321/N 3
DR12 -9.88 dB -24.59 dB 5:20 03-Paduana Lachrymae, SwWV 328/N 10
DR11 -8.67 dB -21.67 dB 3:53 04-Allemand (Gratie), SwWV 318/N 7
DR12 -5.90 dB -21.38 dB 3:29 05-Toccata C2, SwWV 283/L 20
DR12 -10.65 dB -25.17 dB 2:08 06-Die flichtig Nimphae (Vluchtige nymph), SwWV 331/not in N
DR12 -7.78 dB -22.51 dB 3:56 07-Toccata Primi Toni d2, SwWV 286/L 15
DR13 -7.34 dB -24.10 dB 6:25 08-Mein junges Leben hat ein Endt, SwWV 324/N 6
DR12 -9.84 dB -24.43 dB 2:18 09-Toccata a 3 G2, SwWV 289/L 23
DR13 -9.83 dB -25.93 dB 7:03 10-Pavan Philippi, SwWV 329/N 11
DR11 -8.58 dB -22.54 dB 2:38 11-Toccata Secundi Toni g1, SwWV 292/L 21
DR12 -7.16 dB -22.58 dB 3:12 12-Von der Fortuna werd ich getrieben (Engelse Fortuijn), SwWV 320/N 2
DR11 -8.17 dB -22.23 dB 5:22 13-Unter der Linden grune (Onder een linde groen), SwWV 325/N 8
DR13 -7.85 dB -23.32 dB 8:04 14-Fantasia Crommatica a 4 d1, SwWV 258/L 1
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 14
Official DR value: DR12

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 847 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Robert Woolley - Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: Works for Keyboard, Volume 2 (2009)