Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?  
Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Tom Moore
Early Music, April 2010

American Glen Wilson…has recorded regularly over the years, most recently for Naxos. This selection of Sweelinck’s work, recorded on a Henk van Schevikhoven copy after Ruckers, has the familiar hits, including “Est-ce Mars,” “Mein junges Leben hat ein End,” and the Chromatic Fantasy, as well as arrangements of Phillips and Dowland. The focus here is on gravitas, rather than brilliance, but that said, this is a compelling collection that will repay repeated listenings.

Giv Cornfield
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, May 2009

This disc continues the exploration of little-known keyboard works by Sweelinck and Buxtehude (Naxos 8.570580 & 8.570581, with Lars Ulrik Mortensen), better known for larger-scale sacred works. Here keyboardist Glen Wilson has chosen a variety of substantial fantasias and variations on works by Sweelinck’s contemporaries that yield some very pleasant surprises, all rendered with exquisitely fine taste and choice of nuance.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2009

Young hopeful students travelled from all over Europe to study in Amsterdam with the master of the keyboard, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, though how he gained his mastery of composition remains a mystery. He had certainly been taught the organ by his father, but he had died when Jan was quite young, so it is unlikely he was the source. Among an abundance of works, it is a large collection of keyboard pieces for which he is best known today. Many could be played on harpsichord or organ, and range from fugal fantasias through to extended sets of variations, Sweelinck perfecting this latter art. With manuscript music in the 16th century not in widespread circulation, and as he seldom travelled outside of Amsterdam, how he became aware of the latest styles from around Europe, particularly from English virginalists, is unclear. Eleven of those works have been selected for this release by the American-born Glen Wilson. Initial studies at New York’s Juilliard School led to a long period in Holland as a student of the famous harpsichordist, Gustav Leonhardt, subsequently making his home in Europe, from where he has a busy international diary. I find him ideal for Sweelinck, his performances unfussy, his articulation revelatory clean, and his approach devoid of personal affectations. As a taster try the Variations on ‘Allein Gott is der Hoh sei Ehr’, a powerful creation which Wilson plays with the required weight (Track 7). Or sample the whimsical delight’s of the Echo Fantasia with Wilson bringing as much light and shade as is possible on the instrument (track 8). The disc ends with two pieces that are not by Sweelinck, but are associated with his artistic circle. Wilson plays a copy of a Johannes Ruckers harpsichord by Henk van Schevikhoven, just a shady less ‘woody’ in tone than some of the originals, but still extremely pleasing to the ear. Outstanding engineering.

Penguin Guide

Glen Wilson is also a splendid player and his less expensive recital is just as enticing as the Chandos collection. Items like the Echo Fantasia, and the variations on ‘Fortune my Foe’ and Pavana Philippi are very diverting.  But this whole recital is first class. © Penguin Guide

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group