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Pieter Bustijn: Suittes Pour Le Clavessin

Bustijn / Simonetto
Release Date: 06/28/2011 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94187   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This superlative recording by Simonetto is the one to get.

Not much is known about Pieter Bustijn - not even for sure where his family came from or what language he spoke. The CD booklet reproduces the original frontispiece from the first publication in 1712 of this volume of Suittes, his only known works, which gives his name as 'Pierre Bustin'.

What is certain is that this is a disc that no lover of Baroque or harpsichord music in general should be without: nearly eighty minutes of enormously appealing, high-octane invention superbly rendered by Alessandro Simonetto on a magnificent reproduction Ruckers instrument, brilliantly captured by the sound engineer - all that at Brilliant's bargain
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Five of the Suittes are in five movements, one in six, two in seven and one in eight. The basic pattern is Preludio - Allemanda - Corrente - Sarabanda - Giga, sometimes with a Variatio tagged onto the end, with or without an inserted Aria, and a Gavotta occasionally replacing the Giga. Listening to eighty minutes of solo harpsichord is not always recommendable, but many will surely find themselves unwilling to press the Stop button - either that, or time will fly past unnoticed. Only one movement of the 53 in total is three minutes long, and many come in at well under a minute - there is no time to lose interest! Instead the listener is swept along on the tide of Bustijn's imagination.

According to the notes, these Suittes were well known in northern Europe in the 18th century, and Johann Sebastian Bach may have been familiar with them. There are similarities here and there with Bach's keyboard music, but Bustijn is a generation older than Bach, and his style is in any case original and distinctive. Simonetto's tempi are almost universally on the fast side, which only adds to the thrill of Bustijn's ravishing music.

As well as being an accomplished harpsichordist, Simonetto is also a sound engineer - this disc was recorded and mastered by him - and he is founder of OnClassical.com, KunstderFuge.com and ClassicaLand.com, all worthy online art music projects.

Apart from the recording details, which had to be mechanically recovered from OnClassical.com, where a download-only version of the disc is available, the booklet is as informative as it can be about the Suittes and their elusive composer, given the dearth of reliable historical data. The harpsichord is a 2008 model by William Horn based on a mid-17th century Johannes Ruckers instrument made in Antwerp - the booklet says in 1638, the website 1643. Two of these Suittes have been recorded previously: no.5 by Bob van Asperen (Sony Classical Vivarte 46349, 1991), and no.6 by Jacques Ogg (Globe 5101, 1993) - but this superlative recording by Simonetto is the one to get.

-- Byzantion, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Suite for keyboard No. 1 in D minor by Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto (Harpsichord)
Length: 6 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Suite for keyboard No. 2 in D major by Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto (Harpsichord)
Length: 8 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Suite for keyboard No. 3 in G major by Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto (Harpsichord)
Length: 7 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Suite for keyboard No. 4 in C major by Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto (Harpsichord)
Length: 8 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Suite for keyboard No. 5 in G minor by Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1712 
Length: 7 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Suite for keyboard No. 6 in A minor by Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 7 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Suite for keyboard No. 7 in E major by Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto (Harpsichord)
Length: 6 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Suite for keyboard No. 8 in A major by Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto (Harpsichord)
Length: 10 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Suite for keyboard No. 9 in D major by Pieter Bustijn
Performer:  Alessandro Simonetto (Harpsichord)
Length: 8 Minutes 8 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Very enjoyable music March 6, 2013 By James Carleton (Port Hueneme, CA) See All My Reviews "Yes, 78 minutes of harpsichord music is not the norm for most people, but I could have listened to another half-hour of this, if not more. Highly inventive material, played with a master touch, and engineered with an ear to the strings, not to the mechanism. Little bits of 'noise' pop up here and there, but it is far less than one usually hears on recordings of the clavecin. It is obvious that Simonetto loves this stuff, and he does a great job of convincing us to fall in love with it, too. At this price, there is no reason not put it in your collection. Nothing says that you have to listen to all of it in one sitting, but I bet you wind up doing so :-)" Report Abuse
 Incredulous June 12, 2012 By Anthony G. (SANTA FE, NM) See All My Reviews "The beauty, sweep, craftsmanship, artistry, and musicality of this music needs to be celebrated by more CDs of his work and more public performances. The musical public is being denied tremendous musical pleasure and edification here. Bustyn's place in the "musical sun" is long overdue. Now is the time. More virtuosi, and more of his repertoire, need to be recorded and played. I can't praise this composer highly enough." Report Abuse
 Sweet suites on the Clavessin June 9, 2012 By S Cohenroellvaneyck (SOUTH WENTWORTHVILLE, NSW) See All My Reviews "Who has heard of Pieter Busstijn? This recording is like having the instrument in the living room while being played to entertain. Written for nobility and well-to-do in Seeland, S-Holland and Flanders, this pure and simple clavichords sounds without curly extravaganza, yet this music as it is played is to me one of the best performances in an incomparable way. Indeed, sweet suittes!" Report Abuse
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