'Je ne puis eviter': 17de-eeuwse blokfluitvariaties van een Nederlandse 'groupe des trois' [abstract]
'Je ne puis eviter': 17th-century Recorder Variations of a Dutch 'Groupe des Trois'
Antiqua, x, 3 (1993), 104-111
Parallel to Jacob van Eyck's Der Fluyten Lust-hof, Paulus Matthysz published a series of anthologies in the same sexto-oblong format. One of them, 't Uitnemend Kabinet I (1646), contains a remarkable piece. It is a set of variations on 'Je ne puis eviter', an air de cour by François de Chancy. Pieter de Vois was the main composer. In the course of the composition, however, the names of two fellow composers appear: Steven van Eyck (who wrote 8 bars) and Jacob van Eyck (the last 10 bars). The question arises how authentic the piece is.
Pieter [Alewijnszoon] the Vois (c1580/81-1654) is an interesting figure in the music history of the Dutch Golden Age. He was a pupil of Sweelinck and the music teacher of Constantijn Huygens. De Vois was blind. In Amsterdam, Sweelinck and he were responsible together for the table music in the town hall where de Vois played the violin. In 1604 he was appointed organist of the St Jacobskerk in The Hague. When Sweelinck died, he was asked to succeed his former teacher at the Oude Kerk of Amsterdam. De Vois was persuaded to stay in The Hague, where he died in 1654.
Steven van Eyck (?-1673) was de Vois' son-in-law, married to his daughter Magdalena. No family relation with Jacob van Eyck can be traced. Steven van Eyck gave lessons on the viol and harpsichord to Huygens' sons Constantijn jr. and Christiaan. He succeeded Pieter de Vois as organist in The Hague after the latter's death in 1654.
The melody of 'Je ne puis eviter' appears in Der Fluyten Lust-hof too. There it is called 'Philis schoone Harderinne', both in the monophonic original and in a duet arrangement. The form schedule is AA*BB (the first strain has different endings for prima and seconda volta). In 't Uitnemend Kabinet I the theme is exposed with ornamental reprises by de Vois.
Modo 2 is the result of some juggling. The first strain was ornamented by Steven van Eyck. It appears only once, without a repeat sign, and it is clearly a seconda volta. The B-strain is first ornamented by Pieter de Vois. In the repeat, Jacob van Eyck takes over. Stylistically there is no doubt that these last ten bars were really of the Utrecht master.
Evidence exists that Paulus Matthysz 'orchestrated' all this. He probably asked the three composers to send in a whole set of variations, and then started to brew a mixed version. It is remarkable that van Eyck adjusted himself to a melody version that differs from the one he used for 'Philis schoone Harderinne'. (Paulus Matthysz did not agree with van Eyck's version, as his duet arrangement of 'Philis' shows: he changed the final bars. This seems to indicate that for 'Je ne puis eviter' he presented his own version of the theme to the three composers).
unsatisfactory that Modo 2 lacks the prima volta of the first
strain. I suggest to insert another eight bars by Jacob van Eyck here:
from 'Philis schoone Harderinne', Modo 3, the first strain. Another
suggestion is that modern performers compose their