Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

My family just got done learning about The Netherlands in school last month. We learned about several famous poeple from The Netherlands, so I thought that I would share what I learned about the ones that are known for their music.

Today's Dutch Person Is.....

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (Try saying that one without practicing.) :-)

Born: May 1562,
Deventer, Holland
Died: October 16, 1621
Amsterdam, Holland
Famous For: Composer of the Geneva Psalter, Organist and Composer

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was born in May of 1562, to Peter Swybbertszdon and Elske Sweeling. His father was a well-known organist and it was he who taught Sweelinck. The other main teacher of Sweelinck was Jacob Buyck, the pastor of Oude Kurk. Buyck taught Sweelinck until he left the church because of conflicts with the Calvinists. Sometime around 1577 Sweelinck became the organ player for the Oude Kurk church. He was an amazing organist and was excellent at improvisation. Sweelinck, for the most part stayed in Amsterdam. He occasionally left to go inspect other organs in nearby cities, but for the most part he just stayed in the city. Sweelinck was the best, most advanced organist before Johann Sebastian Bach. Not only did he compose beautiful organ music, he also did many works for the voice.
Sweelinck was the man who took music from the Renaissance era, into the Baroque era. His music for the organ and for voice was complex, but beautiful in sound and in style. Most likely, Johann Sebastian Bach was greatly influenced by Sweelinck’s music and compositions.
Sweelinck’s life may not seem very exciting because, for the most part, he did not leave Amsterdam. Compared to many famous composers, he lived a very dull life, but quite often, it is the dull life that God quietly uses for great things. Just think, if it wasn’t for Sweelinck, J. S. Bach would not have been the composer he was, and we would not have had such beautiful music for the Geneva Psalter. (Oron)

Works Cited
Oron, Aryeh. "Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (Composer)." Bach Cantatas February 2006.

More soon to come...

In Christ and For His Kingdom,

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