Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck


Born: May, 1562; Deventer, The Netherlands   Died: October 16, 1621; Amsterdam, The Netherlands  
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was perhaps the most important composer from the Netherlands in the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras. He is best known for his vocal compositions, typically written for five voices and possible instrumental accompaniment, and for his keyboard works, which included toccatas, chorale variations, and various fantasias. He was also one of the leading teachers in Europe during his time, numbering among his students his Read more son Dirck Sweelinck, Hasse, Scheidt, Praetorius, plus many other notables and founders of the seventeenth century north German organ style that culminated in the music of Bach.

Sweelinck's father was the organist Peter Swybbertszoon and his mother Elske Sweeling. As a child Jan likely had his first music instruction from his father, who served as organist at Amsterdam's Oude Kerk (Old Church) from 1564 until his death in 1574. Young Sweelinck may also have studied with organist Cornelis Boskoop, who succeeded his father at the Oude Kerk for a brief tenure. For some reason Sweelinck changed his name to a variant of his mother's surname, possibly shortly after his father's death.

In any event, his keyboard talents blossomed quickly and Sweelinck succeeded Boskoop at the Oude Kerk, probably in the late 1570s. His post at the church was less a religious one and more a civil appointment, since he actually worked for the city officials of Amsterdam, not the Calvinists who controlled the church services and forbade music performance during them. Sweelinck played the organ probably in the morning and evening during periods free of official church service. He would serve in the organist post for over 40 years and be succeeded by his son, Dirck, whose tenure there was of similar length, ending upon his own death in 1652. Sweelinck's mother died in 1585, leaving the young composer to care for his younger brother and sister, which he ably did.

In 1590 Sweelinck married, and, already receiving a substantial salary, forsook an automatic increase allowed for in his contract upon marriage in favor of an alternate perquisite, that of rent-free living quarters. His wife would give birth to six children, five of whom would survive their father. By the time of his marriage, Sweelinck had already established himself as one of the finest teachers in Europe and had significant income from that activity, as well. In 1594, his first publication appeared, that of a collection of 18 chansons -- works, undoubtedly, that date back to the previous decade. Additional publications came in 1597 and 1604, both collections of psalm settings. While his keyboard works rank in importance with his vocal music, none of it was published during his lifetime.

Another important vocal effort appeared in 1619, the Cantiones sacrae, comprised of 37 motets using Catholic liturgical texts. Because of the composition of this collection and other supporting evidence (his son would be reprimanded for inviting "papists" to a Christmas celebration in 1645), it is believed that Sweelinck and his family were Catholics.

Unlike most composers and artists, Sweelinck led a rather uneventful life, and comparatively little is known of him. He traveled outside Amsterdam only a few times, typically involving matters associated with his post at the Oude Kerk. He did return to Deventer in 1595 and 1616 for brief visits, and traveled to Antwerp (1604), Harderwijk (1608) and Rotterdam (1610). It is almost certain that Sweelinck became a close friend of British composer John Bull (1562-1628), who left England in 1613 to live in Belgium, from where he made trips to the Netherlands. Read less
Norddeutsche Orgelmeister Vol 5 - Sweelinck / Joseph Kelemen
Release Date: 02/26/2013   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: 680   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 126-150 of 150 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    Orologio: Primo Libro Delle Canzonette / Fagotto, Et Al
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47531 Release Date: 08/17/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Allessandro Orologio,  John Dowland,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianpaolo Fagotto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diŕ-Pasňn,  Il Terzo Suono,  Ensemble 1492
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  • 127.
    Ain't Misbehavin' - Sweelinck, Debussy, Et Al / Quink
    Label: Ottavo   Catalog: 19862 Release Date: 12/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas "Fats" Waller,  Richard Rodgers,  Erroll Garner,  Frederick Loewe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quink Vocal Ensemble
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  • 128.
    Once As I Remember... / Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462050 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Anonymous,  John Tavener,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  Jeremy West,  Ian Watson,  Robert Goodhew,  Abigail Newman  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 129.
    24 Preludes / Catherine Perrin
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 2172 Release Date: 08/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various,  Frédéric Chopin,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Louis Couperin  ... 
    Performer:  Catherine Perrin
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  • 130.
    Sweelinck: Works For Organ / Gustav Leonhardt
    Label: Dhm Editio Classica   Catalog: 77434 Release Date: 06/11/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt
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  • 131.
    The Art Of The Baroque Trumpet Vol 2 / Eklund, Johannessen
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553593 Release Date: 01/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Christoph Pezel,  Anonymous,  Michelangelo Rossi,  Johannes Prentzel  ... 
    Performer:  Tormod Dalen,  Mats Klingfors,  Knut Johannessen,  Niklas Eklund  ... 
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  • 132.
    Historic Organs Of Connecticut - 35 Historic Pipe Organs
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 94 Release Date: 12/16/1997   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gottfried August Homilius,  Amy Marcy Beach,  John Stanley,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  David Dahl,  Ardyth Lohuis,  Robert Murray,  Victoria Wagner  ... 
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  • 133.
    Carols From Trinity / Marlow, The Choir Of Trinity College
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51754 Release Date: 07/16/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Marlow,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Traditional,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Pearce,  Graham Jackson,  Richard Marlow,  Silas Standage  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Marlow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
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  • 134.
    Sweelinck: Keyboard Works / Anneke Uittenbosch
    Label: Globe   Catalog: 6035 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  Anneke Uittenbosch
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  • 135.
    Patricia Castillo - Recital Clavecin
    Label: Urtext   Catalog: 2003 Release Date: 01/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  John Bull,  Claude-Béninge Balbastre,  Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
    Performer:  Patricia Castillo
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  • 136.
    Historic Organs Of Baltimore / Armstrong, Ballinger, Bowie
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 91 Release Date: 09/26/1995   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Louis J.A. Lefébure-Wely,  Charles Zeuner,  Healey Willan  ... 
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  • 137.
    Psalms Of The French Reformation / Morel, Ensemble Goudimel
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553025 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Goudimel,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Pascal de l'Estoquart
    Conductor:  Christine Morel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Claude Goudimel
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  • 138.
    Paumann, Kotter, Et Al Harpsichord Music / Philippe Chanel
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 545 Release Date: 08/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrea Gabrieli,  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Anonymous,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Chanel
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  • 139.
    Sweelinck: Organ Works / James David Christie
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550904 Release Date: 05/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  James Christie
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  • 140.
    Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Et Al - Organ Works / Mats Ĺberg
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 229 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg F. Kauffmann,  Johann P. Kellner,  Johann Pachelbel,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Pär Sjöberg,  Mats Ĺberg
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  • 141.
    Go From My Window - Music For The Virginal / Colin Tilney
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90195 Release Date: 09/27/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Anonymous,  Giles Farnaby,  John Bull  ... 
    Performer:  Colin Tilney
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  • 142.
    La Spagna / Paniagua, Atrium Musicae De Madrid
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 163 Release Date: 08/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Buchner,  Antonio De Cabezón,  Fabricio Caroso,  Joan Ambrosio Dalza  ... 
    Conductor:  Gregorio Paniagua
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atrium Musicae
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  • 143.
    Beyond Chant / Keene, Voices Of Ascension
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3165 Release Date: 05/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler,  Christopher Tye,  Tomás Luis de Victoria,  Adrian Batten  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandra Visconti,  Kathy Etherington
    Conductor:  Dennis Keene
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Voices of Ascension
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  • 144.
    Drastic Measures / New Century Saxophone Quartet
    Label: Channel Crossings   Catalog: 5994 Release Date: 05/03/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Russell Peck,  Edward C. Barroll,  Jean Françaix,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Brad Hubbard,  James Boatman,  Stephen Pollock,  Michael Stephenson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Century Saxophone Quartet
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  • 145.
    Glenn Gould Edition - Byrd, Gibbons, Sweelinck
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52589 Release Date: 06/29/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Orlando Gibbons,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
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  • 146.
    The Art Of The Bawdy Song / Baltimore Consort, Et Al
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90155 Release Date: 02/11/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Church,  John Eccles,  William Cranford,  John Blow  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Becker,  James Weaver,  Alexander Blachly,  Paul Shipper  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort,  Merry Companions
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  • 147.
    Piet Kee Plays Buxtehude & Sweelinck
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 514 Release Date: 07/29/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  Piet Kee
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  • 148.
    The Harpsichord In The Netherlands (1580-1712) / Van Asperen
    Label: Sony Classical Vivarte Series   Catalog: 46349 Release Date: 01/18/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Sybrandus Van Noordt,  Pieter Bustijn,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Bob van Asperen
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  • 149.
    Label: Thorofon   Catalog: 2047 Release Date: 06/01/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Stefan Hussong
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