Abraham van den Kerckhoven (1619-1701) came from a family of notaries, lawyers and artists. Many of them were singers and organists, working at the most important churches or the court in Brussels.
Kerckhoven was the organist of the St. Katharina church in Brussels, he worked there till his death in 1701. Apart from that he was organist at the royal court, a job in which he succeeded Johann Caspar Kerll in 1648.
His works are left to us in only one handwritten book, dated 1741 and signed by J.I.J. Cocquil, who was a priest on the kapittel in Zinnik.
There is only very limited information regarding his life and work to be found.
The Belgian anthology, from which I played these pieces, elaborates extensively on the bad payment of musicians at the time, but tells almost nothing worthwhile about van Kerckhoven.
I chose the organ in Frechilla for this recording, because of the excellent authentic flue stops.
The early van Kerckhoven baroque music has imho many similarities to keyboard works originating from Spain in the same and earlier periods.
Moreover this one-manual organ has a divided keyboard, which makes it possible to play accompaniment and melody, in this case descant, on the same manual.