Quirinus Gerbrandzoon van Blanckenburg (1654-1739)

Quirinus van Blanckenburg was an organist and composer, as well as the author of a treatise on thoroughbass. As an organist he attained a high standing; his last appointment, in 1699, was as organist of the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague. He was also much in demand as a teacher, and served several aristocratic families.

His printed musical works are all keyboard pieces, but a number of works have survived in autograph, and these are housed in the university library at Rostock. These include some vocal and harpsichord pieces, and other works, some of them arrangements by van Blanckenburg of operatic arias by Handel and others. The present work is one of those manuscript pieces. Two earlier modern editions exist, edited respectively by A Komter-Kuipers, (Delft, 1937), and W Thijsse (Amsterdam, 1984). The assistance of the Librarian of the University of Rostock is gratefully acknowledged, in making available a photocopy of this work.

VBl 1

L’Apologie des Femmes

Cantata - a riposte to Campra’s Les Femmes

for bass (A-f’), two violins and bc

Price: £ 6.90

L’Apologie des Femmes is obviously intended as a riposte to André Campra’s cantata Les Femmes which was printed in his first book of cantatas in 1708, a lively, witty but ungallant type-casting of women of different temperaments. (Campra’s work is also published by Green Man Press, catalog ref. Cam 1).

The text of van Blanckenburg’s cantata is an amusing parody of that of the Campra work, but as an ‘apologie’ (that is, a defence) of women, it leaves a lot to be desired. Scarcely any more flattering than Campra, van Blanckenburg adds a few more ‘types’ of women to the catalog, with comments that are very tongue-in-cheek, and these are emphasised with some wry musical comments. Nevertheless, his bottom line is that time is better spent in the company of women (in spite of their shortcomings!) than in trying to escape the snares of Love.

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