Jacob van Eyck Quarterly
2006, No. 3 (July)
Jan Baptist Verrijt: A carillon (and recorder) pupil of Jacob van Eyck
In 1628 the Utrecht authorities agreed to give Jacob van Eyck a salary raise, provided he take on one or two pupils 'who would be able to fill his function in the event of his death.' Three years later the blind master approached the council with the grievance that he could not properly instruct his pupils 'without having an accord of cymbals or small bells on which to practice indoors', lest 'their bungling on public bells visit disgrace on them and on the city.' Therefore he requested the purchase of 'an accord of thirty small chimes'. The council approved the request and allowed Van Eyck to install the practice instrument in his own house 'in order to more conveniently practice by himself and to instruct others.'
of several pupils are known. In 1633 the Reformed Orphanage sent him
a youngster named Claes Jansz Weyman, who as Van Eyck's apprentice was
also to learn the art of playing the carillon, 'as much as his noggin
could absorb.' Was the boy a simpleton, or did Van Eyck doubt his musical
attracted young musicians from other towns as well. In 1646 Pieter de
Moor from Middelburg spent four or five months in Utrecht under Van
Eyck's tutelage. Five years later Jacob van Reynsburch arrived with
the same goal, hoping to succeed his deceased father as municipal carillonneur
Eyck's pupils, Jan Baptist Verrijt deserves a closer look, as he was
the only one who can be connected with the recorder. Van Eyck composed
a variation on an 'Almande Verryt' [NVE 93] that appeared in the second
volume of Der Fluyten Lust-hof (1646). The theme was probably
a composition by Verrijt.
Verrijt was appointed organist of the Sint-Janskerk (St. John's Church) in 's-Hertogenbosch in 1640. Van Eyck, who had also been invited to participate in consultations regarding a new carillon there, played an advisory role in the hiring procedure. He heard the auditions on July 12, 1640. In the morning and the afternoon two candidates played the church organ, and in the afternoon they also played the harpsichord in the city hall. Additionally they were required to sing and play other instruments. Candidates were thus expected to be quite well-rounded musicians. In the end, however, neither man was appointed, as the most suitable candidate turned out to be a drunkard. The job eventually went to another person, Jan Baptist Verrijt, who was born around 1610 in the north Brabant town of Oirschot. He started his career there as organist of the Pieterskerk and subsequently held a similar position in Leuven.
In January 1642 Van Eyck spent several days in 's-Hertogenbosch in order to tune the bells. He probably went home with a request to return later that year to install the carillon. On June 11 the canons of the Dom chapter in Utrecht agreed 'to write to the magistrate of 's-Hertogenbosch that Jo. Jacob van Eyck will spend some time there to ensure that the console for playing the bells is installed properly and to his satisfaction.' On September 14 Van Eyck went back. The work was completed on October 20.
authorities in 's-Hertogenbosch must have been well impressed by Van
Eyck, because less than a week later they decided to send Verrijt to
Utrecht to study carillon playing with the blind master. Verrijt received
two guilders per day in expenses, but he was required to provide and
pay a substitute in 's-Hertogenbosch during his absence. Verrijt was
instructed, in addition to his carillon lessons, to 'diligently spend
his time learning something from Van Eyck about flute playing.' Jacob
van Eyck's fame as a recorder player thus extended well beyond Utrecht's
The 'Almande Verryt' may have stemmed from his sole instrumental collection, Concentus harmonici opus 3, a volume of five-part dances.
click on the icon for the score of Van Eyck's 'Almande Verryt'...
Thiemo Wind, Jacob van Eyck en de anderen Nederlands solorepertoire voor blokfluit in de Gouden Eeuw (Diss. Utrecht University, 2006), pp. 87-88. To be published in English by the Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis (KVNM) in 2007.
The motets by Verrijt have been recorded by The Consort of Musicke cond. Anthony Rooley (NM Classics, 92076).
The motets by Verrijt are published by KVNM.
No. 2006/4 will be available in December, 2006
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