The legacy of a notable successor to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in new recordings on a historically significant organ.
The most prominent member of a distinguished Dutch line of musicians in the 17th century, Anthoni van Noordt (1619-1675) was organist of the Nieuwezijds chapel in Amsterdam between 1636 and 1664, when he took up the more prestigious post the Nieuwe Kerk until his retirement in 1673, dying two years later.
The tablature book of 1659 is the only extant collection dedicated to his work, comprising ten sets of variations on Psalm melodies from the Genevan Psalter, and six fantasias. Psalm 24 stands out for its vibrant originality as a masterpiece of improvisation, but all the pieces in the collection demonstrate what a formidable organist Van Noordt must have been, as well as requiring the same flair and invention from a modern performer.
Choice of instrument in this repertoire is crucial, and for the latest volume in his adventurous journey through the organ music of northern and central Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, Manuel Tomadin has selected a superbly preserved original example dating from 1637 in the Jakobikirche of Lübeck. The booklet gives a full specification of the organ as well as the stop list chosen by Tomadin for each individual track, as well as a substantial essay by the organist which discusses the life and music of Van Noordt.
Tomadin’s highly coloured, rhythmically flexible performances pay respect to the essentially improvisational nature of Van Noordt’s language without undervaluing the influence of Sweelinck, the dominant voice in northern-European organ music of the time, on his style.
Praise for Manuel Tomadin on Brilliant Classics
‘[Tomadin’s] technique is flawless and [his] ability to bring minor masterpieces to life is winsome. Early Music Review
‘In terms of competition awards and musical interpretation, probably the most acclaimed organist of his generation.’ Tuscia Times
‘Tomadin convinces with his powerful, virtuoso, but also very complex, well-articulated playing, which does justice to the sound structures of Krebs’s music in every detail.’ Journal für die Organ
· In 1659, a volume including ten Psalm variations and six Fantasias by Anthoni Van Noordt was published. It was entitled “Tabulatuurboeck van Psalmen en Fantasyen”, the first keyboard music book to be published in fifty years. These works give important information about the way organ music was composed and improvised during those transition times between Renaissance and Baroque, in which English and Dutch traditions were merging. The compositions became more extended and enriched with more complex and modern patterns of German influence, led by composers such as Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654), Heinrich Scheidemann (c. 1596-1663) and Matthias Weckmann (1616-1674): this led to the development of a more extensive use of the pedal, which also included many elaborate “obbligato” pedal passages.
· Anthoni van Noordt was born in Amsterdam, where he lived throughout his life. He became the organist of the Nieuwezijdskapel in 1652, and took up a post at the Nieuwe Kerk in 1664, where he remained until 1673. His known compositions are all for organ, and are in the tradition of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and the North German school. The works are of a high quality, showing contrapuntal mastery and a sure technique.
· Also included are two works by Sweelinck and Scheidemann, who both had a decisive influence on Van Noordt.
· Played on the historic F. Stellwagen organ of 1636/37, in the Jakobikirche of Lübeck, Germany, the specifications of which are included in the booklet.
Organist Manuel Tomadin is one of the foremost Italian organists of today, a scholar and passionate musician, with an impressive discography to his name: Husumer Organ Book, Alberti Complete Keyboard Works, and other North German organ masters.