Sweelinck Symposium 1999

by Han Leentvaar | Het ORGEL | Year 96 | (2000) | Issue 1


Peter van Dijk Sweelinck Symposium 1999
Het ORGEL 96 (2000), nr. 6, 34-36 [summary]

During the 18th Holland Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht (26Augustus-5 September 1999), the complete keyboard music of Jan Pietersz. Sweelinck(1562-1621) was performed. A symposium revealed interesting information on the performanceof this music. Rudolf Rasch explained that it should be approached as Renaissance music:emotional aspects (affects) are less important than polyphonic structures. Ulf Grapenthinreported that Sweelinck’s rules of composition (‘Kompositionsregeln’) werebased on the Istituzioni harmoniche of Gioseffo Zarlino. Michael Belotti is preparing anedition of Jacob Praetorius’s Magnificat-cycles; he showed some of theregistration-indications. Ton Koopman gave several recommendations: do not compose yourown score by combining several sources but use one reliable source; remember thatSweelinck did not know two-manual harpsichords; old fingering determines the articulation;add ornaments according to your own taste. Menno van Delft also referred to fingering:’It’s always helpful to know which finger you’re going to use next.’Pieter Dirksen thought that it could be determined whether a keyboard work is meant fororgan or harpsichord; generally speaking, the variations on sacred tunes are organ music.Gustav Leonhardt presented the historical background of Sweelinck’s music. He warnedagainst wishful thinking, by asking whether Sweelinck himself would have understood thesymposium. The symposium program also offered excursions excursions to several organs,liket he instrument in the Pieterskerk at Leiden, which are of great relevance for theperformance of Sweelinck.