Tuesday 19.12 at 6pm at Arkadia: “Crossing the Rough Seas”, a solo harpsichord recital performed by Eugenie Carolina van der Meulen

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Dear friend of Arkadia,

You are invited to “Crossing the Rough Seas”, a solo harpsichord recital performed by Eugenie Carolina van der Meulen on Tuesday 19.12 at 6pm at Arkadia (Nervanderinkatu 11)


Eugenie: “I will present a programme with solo harpsichord music by three composers from Italy, England and the Netherlands who all lived around 1600: Girolamo Alessandro Frescobaldi, Peter Philips and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. I hope to take you on a journey to a different time and place by playing music that showcases all the virtuoso and expressive possibilities of the harpsichord. So expect an informal concert with great music and my attempts at telling funny stories.”


Warm regards,


Entrance is free but a donation of €3 (or more!) to fund the event is suggested and would be most welcome. If you have no loose change or coins we gladly accept payment via Visa Electron or Mastercard etc. !


By Eugenie Carolina van der Meulen – harpsichord

(For more extensive personal notes on the music, please scroll down.)

Peter PHILIPS (c.1560-1628)
– Pavana Dolorosa (Tregian)
– Galiarda Dolorosa
Magnificent pieces, stately and virtuoso with a robust sound.
Taken from the Fitzwillam Virginal Book, which contains keyboard music from approximately 1562 to 1612.

Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (1562-1621)
– Toccata in a minor
Improvisatory music with a wonderful build-up to the end.

Girolamo Alessandro FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643)
– Toccata Prima, from Toccate e partite d’intavolatura, Libro 2 (1627)
Another improvisatory piece, with capricious transitions between lyrical and fast sections.

P. Philips (c. 1560-1628)
– Amarilli di Julio Romano
An Italian melody “covered” by an English composer, a moment of sweet melancholy.
Also taken from the Fitzwillam Virginal Book.

Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (1562-1621)
– Keyboard variations on the melody “Onder een linde groen” / “Under a green linden tree.”
A happy Spring melody set for keyboard, each variation showcasing a different approach.


Ah what a joy it is to play at Arkadia International Bookshop! I had the pleasure of making my debut there last February, along with two other splendid musicians, and now my first solo concert is almost here. So I will be playing solo harpsichord music by three contemporaries who were among the major keyboard composers of their time: Frescobaldi, Philips and Sweelinck. Their work showcases many the virtuoso and expressive possibilities of the instrument.

This autumn I felt I wanted to dive deeper into English repertoire. From when I started playing the harpsichord (back in the days that it wasn’t my main instrument), I’ve always felt an affinity with this music, pieces from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book by Philips, Bull, Byrd, etc. I’m also really interested in this time in history, the total confusion surrounding the English monarchy, the rise and fall of many. The Pavane and Galiarde by Philips are magnificent pieces to connect to this time. Then it’s really wonderful to spend time with music by Sweelinck, my countryman, from the Netherlands’ Golden Age. I don’t think the Netherlands is very much known for its music, but Sweelinck is truly one of the greats of all time. The Toccata and Onder een Linde Groen are very different and therefore require a totally different mindset. Finally, Frescobaldis toccatas are a must for every harpsichordist, so it was about time I started working on them. I still need to learn more about him, but I hope to tell some things during the concert.

I called this concert Crossing the Rough Seas because I feel the sea is what connects these composers and their journeys. Musicians at that time were very connected and aware of what was going on in other parts of Europe, and they also did their share of traveling. The sea is between the Netherlands and England, and all around Italy. Waves, waves, waves, like chords and arpeggio’s from a harpsichord, sometimes rolling, sometimes harsh, ever changing.

After the concert I’m planning on having a drink at Vastarannankiiski on Runeberginkatu with anyone and everyone, please do join!