Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck has become a bit fashionable – Het Orgel, the Nederlandsche Organisten-Vereeniging, and the Sweelinck revival

by Jan Smelik | Het ORGEL | Year 117 | (2021) | Issue 5

De plaquette van Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck die de NOV in 1931 onthulde bij gelegenheid van haar 40-jarig bestaan.

The organ world as a matter of course is celebrating the fact that Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck died 400 years ago.  His name is familiar among organists and his compositions are a part of the concert repertoire.  Renowned international music publishers offer his complete keyboard works, and various organists and harpsichordists have made complete recordings on CDs.  It can scarcely be imagined that the Dutch organ world used to be unfamiliar with Sweelinck and his music.  But this was the case during more than two centuries.  This article discusses the role of Het Orgel and the Nederlandsche Organisten-Vereeniging (NOV) in the re-evaluation of Sweelinck.  The author treats the period to 1934, the year in which the book Jan P. Sweelinck en zijn instrumentale muziek by Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer (1888-1953) was published.

The article also mentions the infamous controversy between the NOV and Jan Zwart in the early 30s.  The Sweelinck commemoration played an important role here.