Magdalena Kasprzyk·Dobija
Sweelinck & Bach – beyond the keyboard

Sweelinck & Bach – beyond the keyboard

Sweelinck Festival – Fringe in de Oosterkerk

Sunday, 24 Oktober | 16:45

Le Trèfle Fleuri

Magdalena Kasprzyk-Dobija – viola da gamba

Maciej Skrzeczkowski – harpsichord

Sweelinck & Bach – Beyond the keyboard

It is not a coincidence that – together with musicians – scholars and astronomers were all awed by the art of counterpoint. The polyphonic music was believed to be a reflection of how the world maintains its harmonious state of equilibrium and a mundane representation of the movement of the celestial bodies themselves.

The purpose of the complex polyphony of Sweelinck and Bach, two great organist of their times, does not only stand as a token for the virtuosity and knowledge of these composers. The forces of their music are at all times at the service of the beautiful cosmic concordance, going beyond the meticulous scores.

Without a doubt, this abstract idea governs the soundscape of Bach’s Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord obligato. The importance of the instrumentation seems to be a secondary issue to their contrapuntal architecture, as can be proven by comparing it with the alternative version of the Sonata in G Major for two flutes and continuo (known as Trio Sonata BWV 1039). Moreover, the very same thinking breathes through the organ trio sonatas, where the three voices untangle the hidden harmonies, evoked by the ancient liturgical instrument.

Bach’s example is far from being unique when discussing the possible abstractions of polyphony. He was a receiver of his past. We want to present that if a similar concept is applied to the pieces by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, it reveals many acquaintances. The structure of his Fantasia Chromatica, although written for one keyboard instrument, retains miraculously its logic and feeling of unity, even when spread across two different instruments and timbres.

(text Artur Dobija)

Time & location

Sunday, 24 Oktober | 16:45


Kleine Wittenburgerstraat 1, 1018 LS Amsterdam

Admission free

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photos: Artur Dobija