A song by Servaas de Koninck

De Koninck (Coninck) was born at Dendermonde (Flanders) in 1653. From 1663 to 1665, he was a boy chorister at St. James Church in Ghent. In 1675, he became a student at the University of Leuven. Around 1680, he lived in Brussels.

About 1685, he took up residence in Amsterdam in the Dutch Republic, where he had been preceded by another composer from the Southern Netherlands, Carolus Hacquart. He operated in circles connected to the Amsterdam Theatre and he probably worked later on as an independent musician in Amsterdam. He was a music teacher at the Lucie Quarter’s French girls’ school.

Between 1696 and 1699, he issued seven opus numbers, published by Estienne Roger in Amsterdam: two volumes of sonatas for one and two flutes with and without basso continuo, the tragedy Athalie by Jean Racineof which De Koninck set the choirs to music (1697), two volumes of trios, the Hollandsche Minne- en Drinkliederen (also from 1697) and a volume of motets (1699). The short period of time in which Roger published the opus numbers suggests that a number of compositions might have been completed previously and had only been waiting for a publisher. Apart from this collection, a number of compositions are kept in manuscriptand print. De Koninck died in Amsterdam in 1703.

A special edition within the series of seven, published by De Koninck at Estienne Roger's editing house, was the volume with Hollandse Minne- en Drinkliederen (Dutch Love and Drinking Songs), of which the poet is not known by name and which are meant for a middle class public. In order to sell them better, it had emphatically been stated they were composed in the French and Italian manner; These indications on the style fit into Roger's publishing policy, as he wanted to give an international hallmark to his fund.

The French manner refers to Jean-Baptiste Lully, a French composer of Italian birth, who stood for a sophisticated and reserved style, an idiom that De Koninck controlled in minute detail. The Italian style is more expressive and also more extroverted, but is not that prominently present in this volume. This hybrid style, however, illustrates undoubtedly the international, eclectic musical environment in Amsterdam at the end of the 17th century.

In this volume, De Koninck also experiments with larger and more elaborate occupations which not surprisingly are reminiscent of the theatre; seven songs in his collection are combined to make a dialogue of Coridon and Climene,] which ends with a duet in the Italian manner.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
Compilation Ah! I wish I were a little dog! Love and Drinking Songs of the Netherlands 4.00 stars  CD
Arthur Bliss Comments:
Dopo Emilio