Jacob van Eyck – English Nightingale
Jacob Van Eyck’s collection Der Fluyten Lust-hoff is one of the most important collections we recorder players have. In this item I would like to write about one of the more popular pieces “The English Nightingale”.
The entire collection of pieces can be found here , on page 34.
As most of the pieces in his book, the Nightingale is a set of divisions on a theme, getting more and more elaborate as we progress to one from another.
The Nightingale is “English”, since the tune appears in English songbooks of the 1630′s.
For anyone interested to learn about Jacob van Eyck himself, I recommend deeply the site of the fantastic researcher Thiemo Wind, who is undoubtedly the most important scholar dealing with van Eyck’s music – here .
Jacob van Eyck (ca. 1590 – 26 March 1657) was a Dutch nobleman and musician. He was especially known as a carillon player, expert in bell casting and tuning, organist, recorder player and composer.
Van Eyck was born blind into a noble family in the small town of Heusden. In 1625 he left home and became carillon player of the Dom tower of Utrecht, in 1628 he became the Director of the Carillons of Utrecht.
Rene Descartes and other scientists praised his knowledge of acoustics, bell casting and tuning and bell players came to Utrecht to study with him. He died in Utrecht.
Jacob van Eyck composed the Der Fluyten Lust-hof ( The Flute’s Pleasure Garden). Editions of this work appeared in 1644, 1646, 1649, 1654, and 1656. Der Fluyten Lust-hof is a very extensive collection of about 140 melodies, each with a number of diminutions or variations, for solo soprano recorder.
Der Fluyten Lust-hof remains the largest work for a solo wind instrument in European history.
When going through youtube and seeking a nice perfromance of the piece, I came across this exceptionaly musical Dutch girl:
Another rather delightful performance I found was this one: