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Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Volume 6 (2000) No. 2

Orgelmusik av familjen Düben / Organ Works by the Düben Family. Edited by Pieter Dirksen. Bibliotheca Organi Sueciæ, 1. Stockholm: Runa Nototext, 1997 (c.1996). [xxvi, 45 pp. ISMN M-706864-00-6. 320 Krona ($41).]

Reviewed by David Harris*

1. Review


1. Review

1.1 This edition collects the surviving keyboard music of three Dübens active in Stockholm: brothers Andreas (c1597/8–1662) and Martin (c1598/9–late 1640s); and Gustav (c1629–1690), son of Andreas. The brothers came from Leipzig, where their father, Andreas Düben the Elder, was organist at the Thomaskirche. The younger Andreas Düben studied with Sweelinck from 1614 to 1620, and there is speculation that Martin Düben may have as well. Pieter Dirksen, the editor, has included a series of variations on the chorales Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr and Erstanden ist der heil’ge Christ; a “chorale fantasia” on Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hölt; a setting of Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren; three modest pieces of the praeludium/preambulum genre; and a dance suite for harpsichord. A variant version of one chorale variation and an anonymous setting of Nun komm der Heiden Heiland appear in the appendix. The attribution of the Nun lob setting is provisional: the source (D-B: Lynar B 1) ascribes it to “D H” which the editor interprets as “Düben Holmensis” and thus Gustav Düben, the only one of the three born in Stockholm. He rejects Hans-Joachim Moser’s interpretation of “D H” as “Druckenmüller Hallensis” (Georg Wolfgang Druckenmüller, 1618–1675), both because Druckenmüller left no keyboard music that is known and because the source—its contents apparently originating prior to 1645—is “too early to include music of Druckenmüller’s generation”; yet Gustav Düben, born around 1629, would have been only sixteen at the most when the substantial work, replete with echo effects and virtuoso figuration, was composed.

1.2 The three variations on Allein Gott, two by Andreas Düben and one by Martin Düben, have been excerpted from a series that also contains variations by Sweelinck, Peter Hasse, Gottfried Scheidt, and five variations lacking attribution in the source (D-B: Lynar B 1). The entire series appears in Max Seiffert’s 1943 Sweelinck edition. Whether it represents a planned set or a compilation remains in doubt. As Dirksen observes, the variations after the initial four by Sweelinck “give the impression of contrapuntal exercises, with their sometimes awkward melodic style and unsure control of harmonic direction.” He suggests that Martin Düben’s three variations on Erstanden ist were modeled on Sweelinck’s procedures in his Allein Gott variations (not included in this volume). Martin Düben’s fantasia on Wo Gott der Herr is the largest of the organ works; its “echo coda,” however, was copied from Heinrich Scheidemann’s fantasia on In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr. Dirksen nevertheless considers the work up to the coda authentic.

1.3 To constitute Gustav Düben’s harpsichord suite, Dirksen has taken the brief prelude, signed by Düben with his initials, from its position preceding a suite by Jonas Tresure (Tresor) in Düben’s partly autograph 1659 manuscript (S-SK: MS 493 b) and has attached it to the similarly initialed Allemande and the following unsigned courante and sarabande in the same source. While the courante and sarabande may well be by Düben, their style and form are different; for example, there are practically no melodic correspondences between them and the allemande (although they share the same opening melodic contour with each other), and they both have two repeated sections while the allemande has three. Since the edition presents the series of four movements simply as [Suite] without any further qualification in the edition itself, readers would need to consult the editor’s preface to learn that this is actually a compilation. Students of early keyboard fingering will be grateful that Dirksen has included the fairly extensive fingerings found in the source. As one would expect of northern European fingerings at this time, the breaks between series of right-hand 3-4 fingerings for ascending eighth notes occur between beats; chords also have fingerings. The sole ornament sign is a pair of parallel horizontal dashes appearing in various contexts.

1.4 The extensive preface—in Swedish, German, and English—includes photographic plates of various organs pertinent to the repertory and a discussion, with specification, of the organ in Stockholm’s German Church (St. Gertrud), where Andreas Düben was organist. Facsimiles of pages in the principal sources precede Andreas Düben’s Praeludium Pedaliter and Gustav Düben’s [Suite]. Dirksen does not describe the sources or give their structure. Two pages of critical notes conclude the volume. Readers would need to consult these for most emendations, including additions to the sources’ musical text beyond a few editorial broken ties, ficta accidentals, and editorial ornaments in brackets, the latter for “obviously forgotten [ornament] signs.” Regrettably, emendations of notation that is “incomplete,” “not readable” or without rhythmic indication in the tablature sources, and editorially supplied meter signatures, dots, rests, and fermatas all appear undifferentiated from the authentic musical text in the edition itself.

1.5 The entire volume is elegantly printed by Runa Nototext and, despite the reservations concerning editorial procedures expressed above, merits the attention both of performers and of scholars.

Editor's Note: See subsequent discussion of this review in Volume 8, no. 1 (2002).


* David Harris (David.Harris@drake.edu) teaches music history and harpsichord at Drake University. His edition of the keyboard works of Johann Kuhnau is being published by The Broude Trust, which recently published his edition of the keyboard works of Johann Friedrich Doles, Jr. Return to beginning

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