Sweelinck 400


Sweelinck is the most important Dutch composer / musician / teacher who ever lived. Yesterday we remembered his death 400 years ago.

I won’t write too much about Sweelinck himself, that can be found extensively on the internet and I’d like to encourage you to read about him if you are not familiar with him.

Personally Sweelinck got over the years an important place in my life. My background is organist and I played especially Bach a lot. Once I played one piece of Sweelinck, I immediately recognised the beauty of the compositions and whatever piece of music I studied from him, it has the highest quality. An aspect great composers share.

He is right up there with Josquin des Prez, der alte Bach, Amadeus, Johannes B, Bruckner.

To entertain you, some music examples:

Oh, and I played all of these pieces in my life, if I’ve a bit of time I might post my own recordings ( I have no good recordings, will need to make some ).


I see now who is behind your avatar

Sad nobody here doesn’t seem to share your passion.
I like a lot the organ, but specially orgue Hammond in jazz. But maybe your guy is at the origin of it?

As Ardbeg will no doubt be able to confirm, before the Euro was introduced, every Dutch person knew Sweelinck’s face even if they did not necessarily know his music. His portrait adorned the 25 guilder bank note.

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An excellent Sweelinck harpsichord recording which is in high rotation here.

@Haim Thank you for sharing. I did not know this recording. Will give it a proper listen soon, but couldn’t resist to play the 1:18 minute piece “Malle Sijmen”, which I immediately liked a lot.

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