MUSIC CLEANSING IN CALVINIST EUROPE – VOCAL MUSIC BY J. P. SWEELINCKBesætning: 8 singers, Allan Rasmussen, harpsichord & Bo Holten, conductor Price: Duration: 70-100 minutes
Sweelinck is known around the world for his splendid organ music. But his extensive vocal music reaches an even higher level. As a resi- dent of Amsterdam, Sweelinck was subject to Calvinist austerity during the service and any music, apart from tiny bits of plainsong, were simply forbidden. However, the music before and after the service, and not least in private homes, took on extra flamboyance as com- pensation, and here Sweelinck shows us his most flashy sides of his vocal music. The level of singing in Amsterdam must have been high at the time, for the music is virtuosic, full of imagination and pictorialism, even in the 8-part Psalm-settings. But there are also madrigals, and splendid duets and trios in a completely novel style.