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Thread: Dieterich Buxtehude

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    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Default My Music Mini-Marathon: Buxtehude

    I had a mini-marathon listening session over the weekend (it was a public holiday on Monday too), of the music of Dietrich Buxtehude (c.1637 – 1707). DB was a mid-Baroque composer who wrote most of his music in Protestant Germany. It was interesting because the vocal church pieces reminded me of early Bach cantatas. Scholars and performers agree on the influence DB had on Bach and late German Baroque in general. (Indeed, the young Bach supposedly hiked over 400km/250 miles to see & hear DB in 1705. DB was lucky enough to have also met the young Handel and Mattheson in 1703).

    Eleven CD’s I bought recently on a Naxos sale. (All performed on period instruments/historically informed performances). Vocal/church music, keyboard music (harpsichord, of course) and instrumental pieces.







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    ... continued. Anybody here care to comment on Buxtehude's music?






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    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
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    I quite like what I've heard of his organ works; I'm not familiar with any of his other music. Unfortunately I'm not totally satisfied with the couple of renditions I have on disc, but I've since found out that it's just the organist I need to avoid (all of his interpretations seem to rub me the wrong way). I need to get around to checking him out more fully...

    I bet Krummhorn could comment on him too

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    Quote Originally Posted by nefigah View Post
    I quite like what I've heard of his organ works; I'm not familiar with any of his other music. Unfortunately I'm not totally satisfied with the couple of renditions I have on disc, but I've since found out that it's just the organist I need to avoid (all of his interpretations seem to rub me the wrong way). I need to get around to checking him out more fully...

    I bet Krummhorn could comment on him too
    I did not buy the Buxtehude organ music issued in 7 CD volumes by Naxos, deciding to save that for sometime in the future. Are you referring to those?

    The discs above were fine. The 3rd CD in my post #1 with La Capricciosa was interesting: an aria with 32 variations. Just like Bach's Goldberg Variation (published a few decades later), it started with an aria, then came the 32 variations of the opening aria. There is little doubt that Bach must have studied or was at least familiar with La Capricciosa.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nefigah View Post
    I quite like what I've heard of his organ works; I'm not familiar with any of his other music. Unfortunately I'm not totally satisfied with the couple of renditions I have on disc, but I've since found out that it's just the organist I need to avoid (all of his interpretations seem to rub me the wrong way). I need to get around to checking him out more fully...

    I bet Krummhorn could comment on him too
    I too have great appreciation for Buxtehude's organ works, and have performed many of his compositions either in concert or as service music in church. Guess I'm somewhat partial to him, considering my Danish ancestry and all.
    Kh
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    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    I did not buy the Buxtehude organ music issued in 7 CD volumes by Naxos, deciding to save that for sometime in the future. Are you referring to those?
    Oh, no; I haven't heard the Naxos ones--I was referring to Ton Koopman's. (He's just not my style... very energetic, though!)

    La Capricciosa sounds interesting! How does it compare to the Goldbergs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nefigah View Post
    Oh, no; I haven't heard the Naxos ones--I was referring to Ton Koopman's. (He's just not my style... very energetic, though!)

    La Capricciosa sounds interesting! How does it compare to the Goldbergs?
    Hi nefigah,

    La Capricciosa is interesting in the way it probably stimulated Bach's creativity, and offered Bach a model to study on. As a piece of music, it was interesting to listen to. I feel unfair to compare it with the mighty Goldberg Variations of course, for example, the opening aria of the Goldberg Variations is one of my favourite melodies of all time. But it was nicely played on the harpsichord, crunching away.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    I actually quite enjoy Buxtehude... who I have been exploring as part of an effort to deepen my collection of Baroque music. I purchased the following discs... all of which I found quite marvelous:







    Contrary to our esteemed administrator, Krummhorn, I found the Ton Koopman recordings to be the strongest of all... albeit these are his choral works... not organ compositions. Nevertheless, I plan to purchase some of Koopman's recordings of Buxtehude's organ works as well.

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    His sacred work Membra Jesu Nostri has been in my sights for a while, since I've enjoyed Monteverdi's & Gesualdo's vocal works, I also want to get into Buxtehude soon...

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Default Dieterich Buxtehude

    Previously having only been familiarized with some of this composers various organ works, I just stumbled across this:



    I found this quite impressive, and was curious as to whether or not there are any fans of this composer among the posters of TC that may have any further suggestions or general information on this great and influential composer!


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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    I can't name specific works... but I quite enjoy Buxtehude's cantatas. As I ended up opting for Gardiner and Suzuki for Bach, I have gone with Koopman in a big way for his choral works and his organ pieces. If you are on Spotify you can listen to a great majority of his works there. I especially like Suzuki's performance of his organ works.

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    He was basically "the Danish Bach."

    I've mainly heard his organ works, which I like heaps. I've got some recordings by Wolfgang Rubsam, Helmut Walcha & others. It's music that I like to kind of chill out to, but it also has real substance, eg. the weaving of the contrapuntal lines, etc. On the whole he's less heavy than J.S. Bach in this area, & I like him more for that reason. When I have time, I'll check out that choral work you posted, it's been on my backburner for a while now...

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    I bought a pile of Naxos CDs featuring just Buxtehude's music (they went on sale at that time). JS Bach was familiar with Buxtehude's music and I think listening and reading up on pre-Bach German Baroque composers and their music really brings one to appreciate Bach's music even more, and also realise that career wise, Bach was really just like many others of his contemporaries who chose a more local church oriented path. Buxtehude's music (both vocal and instrumental) was German Baroque inside out, and the influence of the church was pervasive throughout.

    I also have other CDs by other period instrument groups. Membra Jesu nostri, BuxWV75 seems to be a standard Buxtehude favourite, juding by the number of recordings of it around compared with his other works. I also have the Bach Collegium Japan/Suzuki version, which I can recommend.
    Last edited by Taggart; Feb-27-2015 at 16:19. Reason: Housekeeping

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    JS Bach was familiar with Buxtehude's music and I think listening and reading up on pre-Bach German Baroque composers and their music really brings one to appreciate Bach's music even more...

    Yes. I was playing Bach's organ works in my studio this summer under the ideal conditions: LOUD AS HELL. After listening to the great Passacaglia and Fugue my studio mate exclaimed, "What the f*** was he thinking?!" He was absolutely stunned by the audacity of this great wall of sound churning endlessly through the same hypnotic theme. Bach has the knack for repeatedly building upon a pre-existing form and taking it to an absolutely unheard-of... unimaginable height. Just as with Handel and Brahms and a number of other composers, it is possible to become complacent about Bach... and even dismiss him as the overly stodgy religious composer... and yet he can be so incredibly audacious... and then turn around and toss off the most exquisitely beautiful passages or arias in one of his hundreds of cantatas... and do this again and again and again...



    Not to bury our poor Mr. Buxtehude:

    Last edited by StlukesguildOhio; Sep-01-2011 at 05:16.

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    To add to what I said before, I quite like Buxtehude's chaconnes, like THIS one. The harmonies & colours are kind of light, it's not exactly easy listening, but compared to some others it is lighter. Maybe it's with being Danish or in the North German area, perhaps there were some links to places further West like France, the organ music of which does tend to be more delicate & less full-on than J.S. Bach, etc...

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