Two Baroque Compositions
for Organ

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck:  Balletto del Granduca
John Loeillet:  Suite in F-Major

Click on the link below to download a PDF booklet
available 04/2024



    Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was born in 1562 in Holland (Deventer), deceased in Amsterdam in 1621 (Amsterdam). He is one of the earlier representatives of composers included in the Baroque era of music composition. His lifetime bridges the transitional period between late Renaissance and early Baroque practices. Sweelinck adopted his mother’s family name in favor of that of his father (Swybbertszdon). Between 1577 and 1580 he became organist of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. His prominent students―some of whom subsequently became notable composers―include Praetorius, Scheidemann, and Scheidt. Sweelinck composed chansons, madrigals, motets and Psalm settings, along with a large body of works for keyboards (organ and harpsichord).

    Sweelinck's Five Variations on a Dance Tune, Balletto del granduca, offer an opportunity to display and exploit the generous resources of the pipe organs of the era, including such features as multiple manuals to facilitate registrational contrasts and echoes. Sweelinck employs inventive variational keyboard techniques in combination with extensive ornamental figurations that are written out verbatim (note for note). The present edition adds additional ornamentation, particularly in the repeated sections that frame the theme; those individual notes have been detailed in reduced size, but are in keeping with Sweelinck’s usages. Some accidentals appear in brackets in order to clarify the intonations of auxilliary notes of ornamentation. All indications for dynamics are editorial in nature.

    Jean-Baptiste Loeillet [aka John, ‘the London Loeillet’] was baptized in Ghent in 1680, and deceased in London in 1730. He moved to London ca. 1705, where he played in the Drury Lane orchestra by 1707; he also performed as an oboist and flutist in Queen’s Theatre. In 1710 he began the practice of presenting a home concert series, while establishing a reputation as a fine harpsichordist and teacher, and also performing on transverse flute. His surviving compositions appear in five prints issued between ca. 1712-1729, consisting of suites & lessons for harpsichord, also trio and solo sonatas for flute, recorder, oboe and violin. He was the brother of Jacques Loeillet, [aka Jacob, b. Ghent in 1685, deceased ca. 1748], and cousin of Jean-Baptiste [aka ‘Loeillet de Gant’, baptized 1688 in Ghent, deceased in Lyons ca. 1720]. His Suite in F-Major offers a series of charming traditional dance movements composed for harpsichord, presented here in an edited format that includes notations for occasional echoes of repeated phrases.