Bustijn IX Suittes pour le Clavessin

Steven Devine (harpsichord after Fleischer, 1710 by Colin Booth)

Zefir Records ZEF9626

Bustijn Suites Cover

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Bustijn’s suites were obviously known beyond the Low Countries. Johann Gottfried Walther mentioned the collection in his Musicalisches Lexicon (1732) and included suite no. 8 in a manuscript anthology of keyboard music. The scribe of the piece in this compilation was Walther’s and Johann Sebastian Bach’s pupil Johann Tobias Krebs. Although Krebs’ copy contains a few more ornaments than the printed edition, it is still plausible that the former was copied from Roger’s publication. This makes it likely that Bach himself was familiar with the pieces. His source may have been Walther’s pupil Prince Johann Ernst of Saxe-Weimar who had studied in the Netherlands and returned to Weimar with music recently printed by Roger. Bach used these publications for study purposes and arranged some of the works. Bustijn’s IX Suittes may have been part of the Prince’s luggage. This, along with the fact that Bach quoted from the works of Le Roux and Dieupart in his own suites, supports the theory that he may have also have used motives from Bustijn’s suites in several of his keyboard works: The beginning of the prelude of suite no. 6 is similar to the Praeambulum 6 of the Clavier-Büchlein for Wilhelm Friedemann (BWV 784); the prelude of suite no. 2 has a motif reminiscent of Fantasia 1 of the Clavier-Büchlein (BWV 787); a further motivic relationship may be detected between the ‘Tempo di Borée’ of suite no. 8 and the opening of Bourée 1 of Bach’s second ‘English’ Suite (BWV 807). It should be noted, however, that these resemblances are of a casual nature and may be coincidental.

A very short excerpt from the local news during the recording...


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