Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam, Harry van der Kamp - The Complete Psalms

Published Monday 9th April 2012
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam, Harry van der Kamp - The Complete Psalms
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam, Harry van der Kamp - The Complete Psalms

STYLE: Choral
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 125410-
LABEL: Glossa GCD922407
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 12

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This release represents the second part of a monumental programme to make available the complete works of the significant Dutch composer, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621). This project, published by Glossa in the form of six book-discs in The Netherlands, culminates now for the international market with the release, in a 12-disc box set, of the 150 Psalms. Previously issued, it is worth pointing out, have been the Complete Secular Works (on three CDs) and the 'Cantiones Sacrae' (on two discs). Thus the Psalm box is the major part of the set and proved to be too much of a good thing for this reviewer. I listened to CD One and appreciated the idea of prefacing each Psalm with the melody from the Genevan Psalter that Sweelinck used as his starting point: this makes this box a useful reference tool for those who sing these old settings. What Sweelinck does to the tune is usually interesting, the singing by Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam is exemplary - but the thought of another eleven discs was just too much. I conducted a random sample to check that the standard is maintained and can confirm that it is and, one day, when time allows, I will return to hear what I have missed. No doubt there is an enthusiastic market for Sweelinck in his homeland and the release price of this box-set is very reasonable but I cannot get as excited about this as perhaps I should.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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