Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

Biography

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
The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Vol. 3: Philips, Sweelinck
Release Date: 11/18/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94449   Number of Discs: 2
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Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Et Al - Organ Works / Mats Åberg
Release Date: 10/11/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 229   Number of Discs: 1
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Psalms From Geneva - Sweelinck: Organ Music / Masaaki Suzuki
Release Date: 10/31/2006   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1614   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 76-100 of 150 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Basics - Silent Night - Music For Christmas Time
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 185812 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Johann Hermann Schein,  Leonhard Schröter,  Franz Xaver Murschauser  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam,  Burkhard Glaetzner
    Conductor:  Martin Flämig,  Burkhard Glaetzner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir,  Dresden Kreuz Choir  ... 
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  • 77.
    Carole Terry Plays The Watjen Concert Organ
    Label: Loft Recordings   Catalog: 1105 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Carole Terry
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  • 78.
    Art And Music - Rembrandt - Music Of His Time
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558118 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Tobias Hume,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  James David Christie,  Timothy Roberts,  Carys-Anne Lane,  Rebecca Outram  ... 
    Conductor:  Bertil Farnlof,  Jeremy Summerly,  Kevin Mallon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westra Aros Pijpare,  Les Voix Humaines,  Rose Consort of Viols  ... 
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  • 79.
    Sweelinck: Allein Gott In Der Hoh' Sei Ehr', Etc;  Scheidemann, Byrd, Etc / Jonathan Dimmock
    Label: Loft Recordings   Catalog: 1106 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  Jonathan Dimmock
    CD: $24.99
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  • 80.
    Trumpet Masque / Jonathan Freeman-attwood, Daniel Pienaar
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 310 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz,  Francisco Correa de Arauxo,  Georg Muffat,  Heinrich Ignaz Biber  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel-Ben Pienaar,  Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
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  • 81.
    2007 Midwest Clinic - Austin Symphonic Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 7322 Release Date: 01/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Adolphus Hailstork,  Rob Grice,  Brant Karrick  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Austin Symphonic Band
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  • 82.
    Label: Octarium   Catalog: 5637419651 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Warren Massey,  Norman Luboff,  Jay van Blaricum  ... 
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  • 83.
    Jan Kalsbeek Fecit / Alert-jan Roelofs
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637200822 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Jacques Duphly,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Georg Böhm  ... 
    Performer:  Albert-jan Roelofs
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  • 84.
    Organs Of Chicago - Thirty-five Historic Pipe Organs
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Philip Paul Bliss,  Seth Bingham  ... 
    Performer:  William Aylesworth,  Jason Alden,  Robert Woodworth,  Will Headlee  ... 
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  • 85.
    Musical Treasures For The Organ
    Label: Bluemusicgroup.com   Catalog: 132 Release Date: 10/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Hugo Distler,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
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  • 86.
    Puer Nobis Nascitur - Christmas Carols
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72234 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis-Claude Daquin,  John Bull,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Jean-François Dandrieu  ... 
    Performer:  Ton Koopman
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  • 87.
    Organ Works - Buxtehude, Bach, Et Al / Brad Hughley
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 930 Release Date: 08/21/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Claude-Béninge Balbastre,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck  ... 
    Performer:  Bradley Hughley
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  • 88.
    Gaudete / Almeda Berkey, Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum
    Label: Soli Dei Gloria   Catalog: 5637465189 Release Date: 07/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jackson Berkey,  Anders Öhrwall,  Egil Hovland,  Tomás Luis de Victoria  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Tranisi,  Willis Ann Ross,  Cynthia Meyers,  Bob Jenkins  ... 
    Conductor:  Almeda Berkey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum
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  • 89.
    A Bridge To Bach - Gibbons, Bach, Et Al / Andrew Rangell
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9216 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Orlando Gibbons,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  William Tisdale,  Thomas Tomkins  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Rangell
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  • 90.
    Ballo Del Granduca - Sweelinck / Serge Schoonbroodt
    Label: Aeolus   Catalog: 10201 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  Serge Schoonbroodt
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  • 91.
    Psalms From Geneva - Sweelinck: Organ Music / Masaaki Suzuki
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1614 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  Masaaki Suzuki
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  • 92.
    Treasury Of A Saint / Caecilia-concert
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72161 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Philipp F. Buchner,  Giovanni Fontana,  Philipp Friedrich Böddecker  ... 
    Performer:  Kathryn Cok,  Fiona Russell,  Adam Woolf,  Wouter Verschuren
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Caecilia-Concert
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  • 93.
    Instruments From The Russell Collection Vol 1 / John Kitchen
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34001 Release Date: 07/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stanley,  Muzio Clementi,  George Frideric Handel,  Armand-Louis Couperin  ... 
    Performer:  John Kitchen
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  • 94.
    War & Peace - Philips, Gibbons, Byrd, Etc / Bob Van Asperen
    Label: Aeolus   Catalog: 10014 Release Date: 07/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Jacob Froberger,  Anonymous,  Louis Couperin,  Claude Le Jeune  ... 
    Performer:  Bob van Asperen
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  • 95.
    Dresden Kreuzchoir - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8392 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gottfried August Homilius,  Rudolf Mauersberger,  Johann Hermann Schein,  Max Reger  ... 
    Performer:  Georg Fleischer,  Reinhold Krause,  Eberhard Uhlig,  Heinz Müller  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Mauersberger,  Gothart Stier,  Martin Flämig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Kreuz Choir,  Capella Fidicinia,  Blasende Music Leipzig  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 96.
    Organ In The Hills - Bach, Sweelinck, Etc / Henry Wallace
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 24101 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Théodore Dubois,  Johann Jacob Froberger,  Johann Caspar Fischer,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Henry Wallace
    CD: $14.99
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  • 97.
    Psalms And Music Of The Reformation / Choir Le Labyrinth
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1165 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Le Jeune,  Philibert Jambe de Fer,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Théodore Bèze  ... 
    Performer:  François Roche,  François Delor,  Kiady Ramambason
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Carpe Diem Genève
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  • 98.
    Sweelinck: Toccatas, Fantasias, Variations / Peter Ella
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32382 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  Péter Ella
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  • 99.
    Jewels Of The Renaissance Era
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29781 Release Date: 11/15/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Anthony Holborne,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Clément Janequin  ... 
    Performer:  Antoine Bouchard,  Shannon Mercer,  Luc Beauséjour,  Matthew White  ... 
    Conductor:  James Tinsley,  Gilbert Patenaude,  Christopher Jackson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strada,  Niagara Brass Ensemble,  Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal  ... 
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  • 100.
    Sacred Bridges / The King's Singers, Sarband
    Label: World Village   Catalog: 468052 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Salomone Rossi,  Claude Goudimel,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Sarband  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers,  Sarband
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Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck


MOST POPULAR WORKS
WORKS
Psalm 116: J'aime mon Dieu (arr. for organ)
Psalm 116: Ik heb den Heer lief
Psalm 23 (arr. for organ)
Mein Huter und mein Hirt
Psalm 36: Du malin le mechant vouloir (arr. for organ)
Psalm 36: Des boosdoenders wille seer quaet