Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: Toccata

Toccatas by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

Collectively, the three toccatas show what the virtuosic genre meant to Sweelinck: the controlled synthesis of chordal textures, contrapuntal part-writing, and eloquent, flowing passagework. For instance, the Toccata, D 31/ L 24 begins with chords (from which a dactylic pattern emerges), moves to scales in the right and left hands, then to short motivic patterns in alternation between the hands, and finally to quicker passagework and a cadenza-like flourish. The Toccata, D 29/ L 17 follows a similar format, this time with the addition of a well argued fugato before figuration, characteristic of English virginalists, resumes to allow the player to explore the whole compass of the keyboard. The Toccata, D 23/ L 18, which comes from the largest and most trustworthy

source for Sweelinck’s keyboard music, the Lübbenauer Orgeltabulaturen (MS Lynar A1), lacks the central, imitative section but the manuscript contains rare ornament signs and some fingerings. © 2003 Andrew McCrea

Robert Woolley at the Van Hagerbeer organ of the Pieterskerk, Leiden

Toccata, D 31/ L 24 [BNQ; BM(info)

Toccata, D 29/ L 17 [BNQ; BM(info)

Toccata, D 23/ L 18 [BNQ; BM(info)