Tag Archives: Royal Court of Sweden

Susato in peril

In 1566 Tylman Susato’s son-in-law, the jurist Arnold Rosenberger, was entrusted with delivering some potentially sensitive correspondence to Erik XIV of Sweden. Since it turned out that at the time Rosenberg was involved with other pressing matters, Susato agreed to fulfill the mission. However, as his ship neared Sweden it was blown into Danish waters; faced with the danger of capture by Danish vessels, Susato destroyed the most sensitive of the documents he was carrying.

Upon his safe arrival, the Swedish king was furious to find these important documents missing, and Susato was formally arraigned in Sweden’s high court. He was in real danger of a sentence of death or hard labor from a court manipulated by a prosecutor who had the king’s full confidence; but he was ultimately released due to his connections with influential men who spoke in his favor. Nothing is known of Susato’s subsequent life, but it appears likely that he settled in Sweden.

This according to “Tielman Susato in trouble in Sweden: Some surprising later stages in the life of the trombonist-composer-publisher” by Ardis Grosjean, an essay included in Brass music at the cross roads of Europe: The Low Countries and contexts of brass musicians from the Renaissance into the nineteenth century (Utrecht: Stichting Muziekhistorische Uitvoeringspraktijk, 2005) pp. 11–16.

 Below, excerpts from Susato’s Dansereye performed by the Renaissance Consort.

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Filed under Curiosities, Politics, Renaissance