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Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707)
complete works for organ volume 2
Praeludium in E Minor BuxWV 152 [3'58]
Ach Herr, mich armen sunder BuxWV 178 [3'22]
Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam BuxWV 180 [3'20]
Praeludium in A minor BuxWV 153 [6'09]
Mensch, wiltu leben seliglich BuxWV 206 [2'17]
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen BuxWV 221 [1'50]
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen BuxWV 220 [2'00]
Praeludium in C major BuxWV 136 [5'33]
Wass Gott nicht mit uns diese zeit BuxWV 222 [2'55]
Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ,

dass du Gen Himmel Gefahren bist BuxWV 224 [1'26]
Praeludium in A Minor BuxWV 151 [4'59]
Nun lob, mein seel, den Herren BuxWV 214 [2'48]
Nun lob, mein seel, den Herren BuxWV 215 [2'11]
Praeludium in E minor BuxWV 142 [8'13]
Byne Bryndorf, organ
Rec: St Mary's Church, Elsinore, Denmark, 11-12 Feb 2003. DDD
DA CAPO 8.226008 [51'04]

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In 1997 Marcussen reconstructed the 1641/1663 Lorentz/Frietzsch organ, (3/30), in the church in Elsinore where Buxtehude was organist from 1658 to 1668, before his move to Lübeck. For the first time then a Buxtehude recording is possible on an organ sympathetic to his music in a church where he himself served. The organ sounds well - indeed one wishes Marcussen would voice their new organs as well as they voice their reconstructions - but without that last ounce of beauty which separates the great organ-builders from the very good ones. Roskilde it isn't.

I was fortunate to assist Byne Bryndorf, the current professor of organ at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and former Radulescu student, in a concert in Alkmaar last year. Her phenomenally relaxed and efficient technique on the most challenging of organs left a big impression on me. Here she plays with fluidity and style. The end of the E minor Praeludium is astonishingly virtuosic, taking far more of the 12/8 fugue into the pedal than is suggested by Michael Bellotti in his now standard edition. I have to say that Bryndorf's Buxtehude philosophy is not significantly different from that of Harald Vogel, whose ideas about registration and rhetoric seem as yet curiously unchallenged. This is not to say that Vogel is wrong or that his results are not beautiful, (they certainly are), but his philosophy is a personal one, only partially source-based. So, in Bryndorf's recording, we have fugues with 8' pedal played on flutes, or, sometimes a so-called 'consort registration' (here in BuxWV 153 and 142) and we have remarkably similar accelerandi at the beginning of each Praeludium. Her chorale preludes seem slightly more personal, though I find her ornamentation sometimes too fast and nervous in pieces with a more tranquil or sorrowful affect.

The booklet contains excellent notes by Kerala Snyder and also the chorale tunes; a nice touch which helps put the chorale preludes into context for the listener. Regrettably there is no photo of the 1641 organ case, though one is referred to in the technical information at the back of the booklet! Incidentally, 51 minutes of music is seriously stingy.

Chris Bragg

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