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 creates an entirely new kind of organ music, leaving the notion of the pipe organ as a church instrument and going back to its origin: the water organ, invented in Egypt in the 3rd century BC and widely used in North-Africa, Southern Europe and Asia during the Roman Empire. He then returns to the 21st century to combine rhythmic melodic concepts from modal traditions with complex chromatic harmonies and atonal bird songs.

Since the late ´90s he has been developing a new and virtuoso way of playing with the left hand, inspired by percussion instruments  which generate melodies out of rhythmic patterns, like tabla and darbuka. 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 plays the classical organ repertoire in a particularly fluent way, making the organ—the most machine-like of instruments—breathe and live:  

His interpretation of magnificent organ works of Max Reger is of the highest order:

Willem Tanke's CD and DVD recordings of the complete organ works by Olivier Messiaen have been critically acclaimed:


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