Ralph Blakely on Willem Tanke's Super Audio CD Meditations for a lent in American Record Guide:

"I reviewed two fantasies by Willem Tanke in the March/April issue this year. I found Tanke one of the most fascinating composers I had encountered. Now, this work confirms and augments  that judgement...However, ingenuity does not make art; it is the remarkable beauty of this work that does.  This recording will be a the top of my critic’s-choice list for the year. I believe it may be the most important recording I’ve reviewed for ARG. Tanke wrote that he intended to explore the direction music is headed in the 21st Century. If that be so, I am excited about where it is going."

Willem Tanke developed a virtuoso way of playing with the left hand, inspired by percussion instruments  which generate melodies out of rhythmic patterns, like tabla and darbuka. This leads to a truly new kind of organ music. A specially designed keyboard with three manuals allows him to perform his music on any location, independent of churches:

Video: Train in the Sky


Willem Tanke's recordings of Olivier Messiaen's complete organ works on 8 CDs and 2 DVDs have been critically acclaimed:

"This new set by Willem Tanke is most certainly Messiaenic heaven to me, and has placed the music far closer to my heart than any of the previous sets. This recent release is as close to perfect as I think I will find"   (Simon Fitzgerald, The Organ)

"This stunning new recording is sure to cause great excitement. Incredible as it may seem there were only 3 edits in the entire performance! This is playing of an exceptional standard"  (Cathedral Classical)

"With virtuoso lightness, unfailing timing and inexhaustible wealth of colours, Tanke opens up Messiaen's heaven...his interpretations touch the heart through the organist's peace of mind and sensitivity...this collection is a milestone in the Messiaen discography and a great moment in his organ music" (Miquel Cabruja, klassik.com)

Due to his own music Willem Tanke plays Bach in a particularly fluent way, making the organ—the most machine-like of instruments—breathe and live:  

Connoisseurs regard Willem Tanke's SuperAudioCD recording of Max Reger's magnificent Variationen und Fuge über ein Originalthema fis-moll Op. 73   and his live recording of Reger's equally impressive Fantasie und Fuge d-moll Op. 135b as a reference. 

As a professor at Codarts, University of the Arts, Rotterdam, Willem Tanke communicates the vision of interpretation, improvisation/composition and analysis as essential parts of the daily practice. He initiated a course named Rhythmic Melodic Patterns in the 21st Century for students of the classical, jazz, world music and pop academies:


Yellow Music
Mrs. Anita Schakelaar
email: anitaschakelaar1998@gmail.com