A Welcome Addition to the Buxtehude Discography
Paul Van de Water | Virginia, USA | 09/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This fine CD contains 7 cantatas by Bach's great predecessor, Dieterich Buxtehude. Three are labeled as premiere recordings, and none is readily available elsewhere. The recording is one of several marking the 300th anniversary of Buxtehue's death in 1707.
The works of Buxtehude that are now categorized as "cantatas" represent several diverse musical styles: chorale settings (BuxWV 10, 27, & 60), Italianate concertos with prose texts, often Biblical (BuxWV 79), arias based on strophic devotional poetry (BuxWV 14), dialogues (BuxWV 112), and concerto-aria cantatas (BuxWV 24). "In the hands of Buxtehude and his contemporaries," according to Buxtehude scholar Kerala Snyder, "these formerly separate genres began to borrow stylistic traits from one another." Bach carried this mixing and merging of styles even further. When Bach made his famous 250-mile pilgrimage on foot to Lubeck in 1705 to hear the great Buxtehude, he stayed for three months, learned all that he could from the master, and almost certainly brought back copies of Buxtehude's works, which he studied and made available to his relatives, pupils, and friends.
The Lautten Compagney--a Berlin-based early-music ensemble--has made several excellent recordings, including a DVD of Handel's opera Teseo on the ArtHaus label. I highly recommend this CD, especially to Buxtehude fans, both because of its unique contents and the quality of the performances. It now goes on my "Listmania!" list of Buxtehude's vocal works.
By the way, Kerala Snyder's great book, Dieterich Buxehude: Organist in Lubeck, is now in print once more in a second edition. It's highly recommended, too.
Paul N. Van de Water"