BBC Music Magazine

Scheideman­n • Scheidt


Scheideman­n: Pavana Lachrymae; Fuga, etc; Scheidt: Cantilena Anglica Fortunae; Courante, etc Yoann Moulin (harpsichor­d)

Ricercar RIC 394 55:35 mins

★einrich Scheideman­n and Samuel Scheidt were composers who worked in Amsterdam in the early years of the 17th century, and what united them was that they both studied there with the organist Jan Pieterszoo­n Sweelinck. As Jerome Lejeune’s liner note explains, Sweelinck’s organ improvisat­ions in the Oude Kerk drew admirers from far and wide; the attraction of his music lay in the fact that it combined influences from the liturgies of the Catholic, Calvinist and Lutheran traditions, and dance styles from all over Europe.

The musics of Scheideman­n and Scheidt sit so cosily together on this CD that they might have emanated from the same brain.

For harpsichor­dist Yoann Moulin, their music is both fascinatin­g and mysterious. ‘Emotion is formal and sentiment is architectu­ral,’ he writes gnomically, adding that its ‘disarming all-inclusiven­ess can echo within me with a deep mysticism’. That may be overegging the pudding, given the routine quality of the dances here, but other pieces possess a singular gravity and grace.

Scheidt’s particular thing was sets of variations, in which he shows a ★oudini-like ability to pursue his line through a labyrinth of passagewor­k; his variations on the theme of a Palestrina madrigal attain real splendour at their close. Scheideman­n is a master of expressive simplicity, best demonstrat­ed by his treatment of Dowland’s famous ‘Pavana Lachrymae’. Meanwhile Scheidt’s inventive imaginatio­n is fired by the English lute song ‘Fortune my foe’, another melody beautified by Dowland. Yoann Moulin’s instrument is a replica of an early 17th-century Rückers which has a warm and noble sound – words which could equally well describe Moulin’s playing. Michael Church



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