An Eighteenth-Century Musical Tour in Central Europe and the Netherlands: Being Dr. Charles Burney's Account of His Musical Experiences - Vol. 2

By Charles Burney; Percy A. Scholes | Go to book overview

XIII
Holland LOW COUNTRIES

Groningen

I little expected to find any thing interesting here concerning music; but, upon enquiry after the organist of the principal church of St. Martin, I was told, that his name was Lustig; I then remembered to have seen, many years ago, some suites of lessons by one of that name, for the harpsichord, full as good as any of the time; and at Antwerp I had purchased a musical treatise in Dutch, with the same name prefixed to it; but I little suspected these to have been the productions of the organist of Groningen. However, upon my calling at his house, to beg his permission to see the organ, I soon discovered that he was the author of the above, and of several other works, of which he not only furnished me with a catalogue, but made me a present of a new edition of his treatise.

The organ of St. Martin's church was originally built by the famous Rodolpho Agricola;1 but it has received several additions since; however, that part which was of his construction is far the best, particularly several reed stops. The vox humana is very sweet, but resembles a fine hautbois or clarinet, more than a human voice; there are four sets of keys, with 54 stops; a few pipes of the pedals are 32 feet long, and upon the whole, it is one of the most pleasing instruments I ever met with.

M. Lustig, who is a Hamburgher, and was a scholar both of Mattheson and Telemann, has been 44 years organist of this church: he is an intelligent well-bred man, and has been a very useful professor; he still retains his hand, and a few allowances made for change of taste, he is a very able and good organist.

Here I again found myself in a country of carillons; I had indeed heard some slight attempts made at Bremen, but in this place every half hour is measured by chimes.


Amsterdam

In my way from Groningen hither, having crossed the Zuider-Zee, I approached this city by water, which affords one of the finest spectacles that

____________________
1
Rodolpho Agricola, was born at Basslon, a village near Groningen, 1442; if we may believe his historian, Melch. Adami, Agricola was possessed of universal knowledge; he does not, however, tell us, that he was an organ builder, though he makes him an excellent musician. Canebat voce, flatu, pulsu. Vitae Philos. (B).

-224-

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