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
Piet Kee Plays Buxtehude & Sweelinck
Release Date: 07/29/1992   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 514   Number of Discs: 1
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Sweelinck: Music For Harpsichord / Glen Wilson
Release Date: 05/26/2009   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570894   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 76-100 of 155 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Fitzwilliam Virginal Book / Jovanka Marville
    Label: Aeon   Catalog: 865 Release Date: 03/04/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giles Farnaby,  John Bull,  William Byrd,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Performer:  Yovanka Marville
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  • 77.
    Music For Christmas
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1462 Release Date: 12/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Michael Praetorius,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Eckart Haupt,  Peter Schreier,  Burkhard Glaetzner
    Conductor:  Martin Flämig,  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch,  Peter Schreier,  Burkhard Glaetzner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Kreuz Choir,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Thomaner Choir  ... 
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  • 78.
    Die Vögel Unter Dem Himmel - Scheidt, Schütz, Scheidemann, Etc / Brewer, Kitchen, Battling, Et Al
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34043 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Samuel Scheidt,  Heinrich Scheidemann
    Performer:  Edward Battling,  John Kitchen
    Conductor:  Mike Brewer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Youth Choir of Great Britain
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  • 79.
    Christus Natus Est
    Label: Kairos   Catalog: 5637353693 Release Date: 11/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Guillaume Dufay,  Anonymous,  Traditional,  Josquin Des Préz  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Lundergan,  Scott Wesley Borden,  Michael Saunders,  Bryan Michels  ... 
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  • 80.
    Glory And Damnation - Bach, Buxtehude, Mozart, Sweelinck, Brahms, Etc / Thomas, Staemmler
    Label: Phoenix Edition   Catalog: 134 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Friedrich Thomas,  Hans Jacob Staemmler
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  • 81.
    Baroque Organ Music - Peter Hurford
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 414496 Release Date: 10/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stanley,  William Walond,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Giovanni B. Pescetti  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Hurford
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  • 82.
    Baroque Recorder Music / Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 421130 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Samuel Scheidt,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Loeki Stardust Quartet Amsterdam
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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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,  Rebecca Outram,  Carys-Anne Lane  ... 
    Conductor:  Bertil Farnlof,  Jeremy Summerly,  Kevin Mallon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westra Aros Pijpare,  Les Voix Humaines,  Rose Consort of Viols  ... 
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  • 86.
    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
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  • 87.
    Trumpet Masque / Jonathan Freeman-attwood, Daniel Pienaar
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 310 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Louis Marchand,  Giovanni Gabrieli,  Joan Cabanilles  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Freeman-Attwood,  Daniel-Ben Pienaar
    SuperAudio CD: $22.49
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  • 88.
    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
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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
    CD: $13.99
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  • 95.
    Harpsichord Recital / Bob Van Asperen
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54319 Release Date: 04/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Georg Muffat,  John Bull,  Bernardo Storace  ... 
    Performer:  Bob van Asperen
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 96.
    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
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 97.
    Label: Gia   Catalog: GIA CD-723 Release Date: 01/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Gerald Custer,  Morten Lauridsen,  Hans Leo Hassler  ... 
    Conductor:  James Jordan
    CD: $15.99
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  • 98.
    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
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 99.
    Label: Querstand   Catalog: 402 Release Date: 11/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Hermann Schein,  Francis Poulenc,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Weyrauch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Brass Soloists,  Calmus Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
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  • 100.
    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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