Willem Mook performs on a variety of lutes and its Spanish equivalent the vihuela de mano. He has specialized in the field of Renaissance polyphony, in which the vocal contrapuntal aspect predominates. Also the music of the early Baroque period has an important place in his repertoire. His current repertoire comprises the music from the period 1450-1650.
Thorough bass accompaniment is an important part of his work as a performer. Willem Mook is a regularly invited guest player with ensembles such as Quink Vokaal Ensemble, Capella Isalana and Haarlems Bach Ensemble. He has often performed as a member of the baroque orchestra Florilegium Musicum. Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine and Bach’s St. John Passion are prominent on his repertoire list.
photograph at the right:
conversation during international masterclass of 17th-century dance with Dorothee Wortelboer, Richelieu (F)
with Harry van Berne (tenor)
Willem`s collaboration with Harry van Berne (tenor) dates from the early 1980's. Their repertoire comprises Italian frottole and madrigals, Spanish villancicos, French airs de cour and English lutesongs.
With the ensemble ‘Resolut’ they performed in Germany, Switzerland and in the Early Music Network in the Netherlands. Together with Quink Vokaal Ensemble, in which Harry van Berne has a leading role, Willem Mook performed programs around i.a. Juan Vasquez and Claudio Monteverdi.
In 2006 they recorded the CD Proba me Deus, together with Jasper Schweppe (baritone) and Margo Fontijne (viol). This album contains music by Constantine Huygens (1596-1687) and contemporaries. Their most recent program is devoted to lutesongs by John Dowland and Constantine Huygens.
with Peter Adema - poetry and lute music
Since 2002 Willem Mook and Peter Adema form an extraordinary and successful duo. With their carefully tuned combination of music and poetry they bring to life the vitality and emotional richness of the Renaissance and early Baroque periods.
Four programs have poetical love as their common theme: Siet den dagh komt aen (with poetry by Hooft, Bredero and Huygens), Amor (with i.a. Dante, Petrarca and Michelangelo), Amour à la cour et à Lyon (with i.a. Marot, Scève and Labé), Lacking my Love (with i.a. Spencer, Shakespeare and Donne). Their newest program has the title with Dante from Hell to Heaven, with passages from Dante Alighieri's Comedy. The poetry is embedded in and commented on by music of the 14th century performed on several lutes. Dante's verses are in translation by Peter Adema are recited by heart to enhance the contact with the audience. The performance is illustrated with a projection of images by i.a. Botticelli. video clip (ca. 10 min.)
"With Dante from Hell to Heaven"- highlights from the Divina Comedia - passages from a live performance, 19 mei 2012, with music from the Faenza Codex c.1400 (Machaut, Senleches, de Molins).
with Quadrivium - ensemble for late medieval music
Ensemble Quadrivium concentrates on music from the period 1350-1500. Its members are: Ellen Delahanty (voice), Geert van Gele (recorder, organetto), Maaike Boekhout (viols), William Taylor (bray harp, psaltery) and Willem Mook (lutes).
In 2009 Quadrivium's CD La cause est amer was brought out (more information ...), containing Burgundian court music from Guillaume Dufay’s time and contemporary compositions based on ancient Japanese Waka poetry, especially composed for Quadrivium by the Belgian composer JanPieter Biesemans.
Quadrivium's three current programs:
Flemings in Spain with works of i.a. Ockeghem, Cornago, Anchieta and Agricola. With Jan Van Elsacker (tenor).
Landini, Ciconia and Biesemans - a program with music around 1400, dedicated to the poet Francesco Petrarca.
Der Teufel hat das spiel erdacht, with music from decks of German playing cards of c.1545, and music for the Glogau ms.
Read more on the website of Ensemble Quadrivium.
with ensemble Voix & Cordes
This German-Dutch ensemble with Annegret Schönbeck (soprano), Susanne Seitz (viol) and Willem Mook (lute) has been successful with their program Time stands still on men's vanity, with music from the Elizabethan and Jacobean court.
For the program The noble famous queen, with Elizabethan consort music and lutesongs, the ensemble is extended with the viol players Margo Fontijne, Claas Harders and Heike Hümmer.
Their current program Canticum canticorum is devoted to the Song of Songs composed 1400-1620, with works of i.a. Dunstable, Isaac, Franck, Monteverdi and Grandi.
Willem Mook is active as a lute teacher since 1980. Currently he teaches in Haarlem and in Deventer. He is known as a skilled and devoted teacher with an extensive class of lute students, the level of whom varying from beginning lute player to qualified professional. Many of his students are active in early music and have found the way to the stage.
For starting students Willem Mook has a number of lutes available - for adults as well as for children.
impressions from the yearly students' concerts
Willem Mook is director of two vocal ensembles in Haarlem, consisting of advanced amateur singers.
The Vocal Ensemble Arcadelt (photo left) consists
of seventeen singers SATB and concentrates on
16th century polyphonic repertoire.
For 2011, this ensemble staged a 10-year jubilee programme with a selection of high points from their repertoire of the past decade.
The Camusette Consort (photo right) counts six solo singers together with a lutenist and a viol player.
This ensemble currently focuses on music by Josquin des Prez and contemporaries.
Camusette Consort too enjoys 10 years of experience.
Outside of Haarlem Willem Mook coaches a number of early music groups, among which the ensembles
Con piacere, Kolibrie en Florans.
left photo: workshop in Harare (HIFA 2008)
Willem Mook introduces the lute and its music in presentations for classes of children in both elementary and secondary schools, playing live music on his lutes and providing a lot of visual material.
right photo: drawing by Lieke (9 years old)
- Proceedings of the International Lute Symposium, Utrecht 1986 (ed. Willem Mook en Louis P. Grijp, StiMu, Nederlandse Luitvereniging, 1987), including the contribution Lute Tuition: some general Aspects.
- The Arrangements for Lute and Vihuela de mano of the Motet Benedicta es Caelorum Regina by Josquin des Prez (2 vols.): Master thesis of musicology, State University of Utrecht 1993.
- Tabula Rasa, column on playing techniques for the Renaissance lute, in De Tabulatuur – magazine of the Nederlandse Luitvereniging (1999 to present).
- “Letter- en grepenschrift – tabulatuurnotatie voor luit”, contribution to Muziek Op Schrift – de wereld van de muzieknotatie (Scryption, 2005);
- “Constantine Huygens – a life moved by music”, textbook to the CD Proba me Deus – Music by Constantine Huygens and contemporaries (SP 0601, Stichting Spaarne Muziek, 2006).
- Vocal reconstitution of the motet Obsecro te domina (à 5) by Josquin des Prez, in: New Josquin Edition vol. 24, Motets on Non-Biblical Texts, Vol.4: De beata Maria virgine 2, Kon. Ver. voor Nederlanse Muziekgeschiedenis January 2008.
In September 2013 the 2CD "Resveillez vous – Nicolaes Vallet, Psalms & lute music” was issued, with:Tineke Roseboom (soprano)
Kaspar Kröner (alto)
Harry van Berne (tenor)
Jasper Schweppe (baritone)
Jelle Draijer (bass)
accompanied by Willem Mook (lute and bass lute) and the Nicolaes Vallet Lute Quartet:
Israel Golani (treble lute)
René Genis (alto lute)
Arjen Verhage (tenor lute)
Willem Mook (bass lute)
CD 1 comprises all works from Vallet´s Een en twintich Psalmen Davids (Amsterdam 1615) supplemented with eight preludes from Regia pietas (1620);
CD 2 contains a large selection of compositions for lute solo (by Willem Mook) and Vallet´s unique works for and lute quartet from Secretum musarum (1615-1616).
Click here to order by e-mail at the temporary reduced rate of €26,00 outside the Netherlands, incl. postage.
In 2009 the CD " La Cause est Amer – Medieval Love Poems from Japan
and the Low Countries” was brought out by Quadrivium:
Ellen Delahanty (soprano),
Geert van Gele (recorder, organetto),
Bill Taylor (harp, psaltery),
Willem Mook (lutes).
The lutes played are a plectrum played 5-course lute, a 6-course alto-lute and a 7-course bass-lute. Harp and lutes are all strung in gut.
The illustrated booklet (16 pages, in English) contains both commentaries
on the repertoire and translations of the songtexts.
This album was produced by the new Belgian early music label Kattenberg.
Click here to order by e-mail at the rate of 15,00 Euros including package and posting outside NL.
Click here to order by e-mail at the rate of 18,00 Euros including package and posting outside NL.
In 2006 the CD “Proba me Deus – Music by Constantine Huygens
and contemporaries” was brought out with the singers
Harry van Berne (tenor), Jasper Schweppe (baritone) and Willem Mook (lute), with the cooperation of Margo Fontijne (viol).
In its richly illustrated textbook (68 pages, in both Dutch and English) Willem Mook tells the story of the musical life of Huygens
as reflected in the recorded music.
The album was issued by the Spaarne Muziek Foundation and has been received with international acclaim (see CD reviews).
taking a close look at the Thysius Lute Book (c.1600)
As a free lance musicologist Willem Mook advises ensembles on choice of repertoire and programming.
He also writes commentary texts for CD albums.
My activities on this page:
CD "La Cause est Amer"
- Medieval Love Poems
from Japan and the Low Countries
Ellen Delahanty (soprano)
Geert van Gele (recorder, organetto)
Maaike Boekhout (viols)
Bill Taylor (harp, psaltery)
Willem Mook (lutes)
Alle rechten voorbehouden Willem Mook 2000-2012 - All rights reserved Willem Mook 2000-2012