The Susanne van Soldt Virginal Book

The Susanne van Soldt Virginal Book

by Guy Penson


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The Susanne van Soldt Virginal Book

The cover of this disc fails to mention what for most listeners may be the main attraction: the "moeder & kind" or mother-and-child virginal used for a majority of the compositions. Quite rare (only three working examples are known to exist), it features a miniature keyboard, above the main one, that can emerge or be recessed by the player as needed. Keyboardist Guy Penson uses it here (the manuscript specifies no particular instrument) in antiphonal passages and in the top register; sample track 21, the "Almande Brun Smeedelyn," for an example of how the instrument can spice up a piece of virginal music. The nicely illustrated booklet includes several gorgeous photos of the instrument used. For nonspecialists, those are more interesting than the text, which recounts some of the detective work surrounding the Susanne van Soldt Virginal Book, a collection of hand-copied virginal music, not a publication. The mostly anonymous music is multinational, consisting of the sort of popular dances that appear in many other early collections of instrumental music, but a more distinctive component is a group of Dutch psalm harmonizations suggesting that the owner, wherever she may have traveled, was a Dutch Protestant. Both virginals used, the mother-and-child example and a more conventional single-manual Dutch model, are fine contemporary copies of instruments from the early seventeenth century by the famed Ruckers firm; they're powerful voices, beautifully recorded. For an occasional break from virginal music, just as Ms. Van Soldt might have taken, solo recorder pieces are included; the heavy but informative booklet also explores the links between the early Dutch keyboard and recorder repertories. The end result is a disc that will be novel and very pleasing for devotees of early keyboard music.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/10/2008
Label: Ricercar
UPC: 5400439002647
catalogNumber: 264
Rank: 112807


  1. Preludium, for keyboard
  2. Brande Champanje, for keyboard
  3. Almande de symmerman, for keyboard
  4. Alemande Loreyne, for keyboard
  5. Myn siele wilt den Herre, for keyboard
  6. Myn siele wilt den Herre, for keyboard (attr.) (Susanne van Soldt Virginal Book)
  7. Susanna Vung Jour, for keyboard
  8. Allemande la Nonette, de Frans Galliard, for keyboard
  9. Almande prynce, for keyboard
  10. Galliarde quy passe, for keyboard
  11. Pavana Bassano, for keyboard
  12. Galliarde Bassanni, for keyboard
  13. Brabanschen ronden dans ofte Brand, for keyboard
  14. Wt de diepte o Heere, for keyboard
  15. Almande de amour, for keyboard
  16. Pavane dan Vers, for keyboard
  17. Tobyas om sterven gheneghen, for keyboard
  18. Untitled work (Sans titre), for keyboard
  19. Ghij Herder Israels Wylt Hooren, for keyboard
  20. Almande Brun Smeedelyn, for keyboard
  21. Almande, for keyboard
  22. Godt die der goden Heer, for keyboard
  23. De quadre pavanne, for keyboard
  24. De quadre galliard, for keyboard
  25. Herr ick wil u uyt 's herter grond, for keyboard (attr.) (Susanne van Soldt Virginal Book)
  26. Almande trycottee, for keyboard
  27. Als een Hert gejaecht (Psalm 42), for keyboard
  28. Pavane Prymera, for keyboard
  29. Des boosdoenders Wille seer quaet, for keyboard
  30. Ontfarmt V. over mij arme Sondaer, for keyboard

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Guy Penson   Primary Artist

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