Adrianus Timmerman

Adrianus Franciscus Timmerman (1825-1890) was director of the Zusters van de H. Vincentius a Paulo from 1870 to 1890. Before coming to Buggenhout he taught singing in the seminary in Ghent and was a kapelaan (chaplain) in the Sint Baafs cathedral. His works comprise a large portion of the Buggenhout collection and many of the anonymous works in manuscript are very likely his compositions as well.

Timmerman, Chant de Noël. BV-10-5377.

Timmerman composed several Christmas songs for the convent such as this version of Adeste Fideles dedicated to the reverend mother Raphaëlle on her name day in 1872. While the melodies are rather simple and the piano accompaniments demand little in terms of technique, the ornaments which are sometimes found the voice part indicate a clear knowledge of the operatic style of the period.

The majority of works composed by Timmerman were intended for the children who attended boarding school at the convent. These works come in the form of music games, such as Chat et Souris (Cat and Mouse) as well as gymnastic exercises such as Balancez une jambe latteralement (Hold a leg out horizontally). Both these works are written in French and would have been used with the upper-class children who attended the boarding school.

Timmerman, Chat et souris, BV-10-5339.         Timmerman, Balancer une jambe, BV-10-5339.

In contrast Netheid behoud Gezondheid (Cleanliness keeps you healthy) and Zondagschool-Aalst (Sunday School Aalst) are written in Dutch and intended for the local children attending church and Sunday school. It is perhaps not a coincidence that Timmermans wrote a piece about the importance of being clean as six of the sisters and several of the children died of Typhus in 1872.

Timmerman, Netheid behoud Gezondheid, BV-10-5376.         Timmerman, Zondagschool-Aalst, BV-10-5376.

Finally, Timmerman was active as a composer in the more popular genre as we can see by these two songs De Kwakzalver (The Quack) and De halve frank van Mietje (Mietje’s Half Franc) as well as the piano piece written for the reverend mother Une distraction (A distraction). Morality still plays an important role in these songs, which he appears to have intended for publication, given the way he often copied them, mimicking the popular layout of the time.

Timmerman, De Kwakzalver, BV-10-5376.         Timmerman, De halve frank van Mietje, BV-10-5376.

Timmerman, Une distraction, BV-10-5375.          Timmerman, Une distraction, BV-10-5375.