Lee Santana (Lute), Hille Perl (Viola Da Gamba), Harry van der Kamp (Bass), Bernard Winsemius (Organ)
Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the death of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621), GLOSSA presents for the first time the complete vocal works of the Dutch composer collected in a box with 17 compact discs. One of the reasons for the realization of this almost epic project was the fact that Sweelinck has so far only been perceived as an outstanding and influential organ composer, while his vocal works, no less important but only familiar to specialists, have led a shadowy existence both in concert and on recordings. With movements in dense, flowing counterpoint, this music reveals great mastery, makes the rich heritage of Franco-Flemish polyphony tangible, and identifies Sweelinck as one of the last important representatives of this tradition. His subtle creative imagination and his interpretation of the text, which is as varied as it is exciting, further enrich the music. It is hard to believe that for a long time there was no really present monument to the composer in his homeland.
The Dutch bassist Harry van der Kamp, together with his ensemble Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam and other outstanding musicians, therefore decided to create a sound memorial to him with a complete recording of all surviving works, which was completed in 2009. Particular attention was to be paid to his vocal works, which included the setting of all 150 psalms according to the Geneva Psalter of 1562 (on 12 CDs), the Cantiones Sacrae (on 2 CDs) and all secular vocal works (on 3 CDs). The response to the project was overwhelming, with critics universally praising the optimal listenability of the interpretations, as well as the vocal delicacy and vocal elegance of the ensemble, which was augmented on a case-by-case basis with such prominent vocalists as Dorothee Mields and Franz Vitzthum, as well as instrumentalists such as Hille Perl, Lee Santana, and Marion Verbruggen. There can be no more worthy commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Sweelinck’s death!