Hyperion Records

Dieterich Buxtehude

born: c1637
died: 9 May 1707
country: Denmark

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Dieterich Buxtehude died in Lübeck, where he was Organist of the Marienkirche, on 9 May 1707. Neither the year nor the place of his birth can be stated with complete confidence, though the former is generally thought to have been 1637, and candidates for the latter can be reduced to a short-list comprising Helsingborg in Sweden, Helsingør in Denmark, and Oldesloe in Holstein. It seems certain, however, that he grew up in Denmark, and although he spent nearly forty of his seventy-odd years in the German city of Lübeck, and although ‘Buxtehude’ is a German place-name, no one begrudges the Danes their claim on him. Whatever the precise facts about his origins, it was in 1668 that he succeeded Franz Tunder (c1614–1667) as Organist of the Marienkirche, and by at least the turn of the century he was among the most influential figures in North German organ music. In 1705, having undertaken the long journey from Arnstadt to Lübeck especially to hear Buxtehude, J S Bach incurred his employers’ displeasure by unofficially extending his leave, so captivated was he by the older man’s playing. That Handel also visited Lübeck, in 1703, further underlines Buxtehude’s stature.

All of Buxtehude's music is necessarily over 300 years old, but one can be confident that Bach and Handel encountered at the Marienkirche very little organ music from any earlier period. Much of what they heard was almost certainly improvised, and although improvisation continues to play a part in organ culture, printed music occupies an overwhelmingly dominant position (and much of it consists of careful editions of music written in the distant past, such as the works of Buxtehude and J S Bach). Buxtehude’s culture was quite different from that of today, and printed music played only a small part in it. Indeed, none of Buxtehude’s organ works was printed in his lifetime, and it was not until 1875, when Spitta’s edition began to appear, that they first became available otherwise than in the form of copies made by pupils and admirers. In Buxtehude’s day, printing could not cope with the increasing complexity of keyboard music, and transmission tended to be by hand-made copies. But Buxtehude’s culture was in any event one in which an important role was played by spontaneity. Carefully rehearsed performances of immaculately printed, long-pondered compositions played little or no part in it. Professional organists were required to be highly proficient in the art of improvisation, and it may be that some of the works recorded here, particularly the praeludia, were intended more as models for students of improvisation than as material for public performance; and so exhilarating is some of this music that one wonders how much more so Buxtehude’s ‘live’ improvisations must have been, for notation, no matter how sophisticated, cannot by its very nature capture every note and nuance of an inspired improvisatory flight: it may be that some of the works presented here do no more than hint at the grandeur by which Bach was so gripped.

Buxtehude’s organ music falls into two basic categories: free works, and works based on pre-existing melodies. To the first category belong the praeludia, toccatas, ostinato works, and canzonas. To the second belong the works based on chorale or plainsong melodies.

from notes by Relf Clark © 2010

Albums
'Buxtehude: Seven Sonatas Op 1' (CDA67236)
Buxtehude: Seven Sonatas Op 1
'Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 1 – Helsingor Cathedral, Denmark' (CDA67666)
Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 1 – Helsingor Cathedral, Denmark
'Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 2 – Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim' (CDA67809)
Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 2 – Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim
'Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 3 – St-Louis-en-l'Île, Paris' (CDA67855)
Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 3 – St-Louis-en-l'Île, Paris
'Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 4 – Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge' (CDA67876)
Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 4 – Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge
'Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 5 – Mariager Klosterkirke' (CDA67964)
Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 5 – Mariager Klosterkirke
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £12.00ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £12.00 CDA67964  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'German 17th-Century Church Music' (CDH55230)
German 17th-Century Church Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55230  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Nikolai Demidenko live at Wigmore Hall' (CDD22024)
Nikolai Demidenko live at Wigmore Hall
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 CDD22024  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)  
'Organ Fireworks, Vol. 12' (CDA67612)
Organ Fireworks, Vol. 12
On other labels
'Bach: St John Passion' (CKD419)
Bach: St John Passion
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD419  2CDs Download only  
Complete works available for download
Ach Gott und Herr, BuxWV177 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, BuxWV178 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Auf meinen lieben Gott, BuxWV179 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Canzona in C major, BuxWV166 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Canzona in D minor, BuxWV168 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Canzona in E minor, BuxWV169 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Canzona in G major, BuxWV170 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Canzona in G minor, BuxWV173 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Canzonetta in A minor, BuxWV225 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Canzonetta in C major, BuxWV167 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Canzonetta in G major, BuxWV171 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Canzonetta in G major, BuxWV172 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, BuxWV180 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Ciaccona in C minor, BuxWV159 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Ciaccona in E minor, BuxWV160 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Danket dem Herren, BuxWV181 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BuxWV182 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BuxWV183 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BuxWV184 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, BuxWV185 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BuxWV186 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl, BuxWV187 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Fuga in B flat major, BuxWV176 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Fuga in C major, BuxWV174 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Fuga in G major, BuxWV175 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BuxWV188 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BuxWV189 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Gott der Vater wohn uns bei, BuxWV190 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn, BuxWV191 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn, BuxWV192 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Herr Jesu Christ, ich weiss gar wohl, BuxWV193 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Ich dank dir schon durch deinen Sohn, BuxWV195 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Ich dank dir, lieber Herre, BuxWV194 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BuxWV196 Christopher Herrick (organ)
In dulci iubilo, BuxWV197 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Iubilate Domino, omnis terra, BuxWV64 Robin Blaze (countertenor), The Parley of Instruments
Jesu, meine Freud und Lust, BuxWV59 Robin Blaze (countertenor), The Parley of Instruments
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der den Tod überwand, BuxWV198 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Komm heiliger Geist, Herre Gott, BuxWV199 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Komm heiliger Geist, Herre Gott, BuxWV200 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn, BuxWV201 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich, BuxWV202 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Magnificat noni toni, BuxWV205 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Magnificat primi toni, BuxWV203 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Magnificat primi toni, BuxWV204 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Mensch, willt du leben seliglich, BuxWV206 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott, BuxWV207 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist, BuxWV208 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist, BuxWV209 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein, BuxWV210 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BuxWV211 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV212 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV213 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV214 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV215 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWV161 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeambulum in A minor, BuxWV158 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in A major, BuxWV151 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in A minor, BuxWV153 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in C major, BuxWV136 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in C major, BuxWV137 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in C major, BuxWV137 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in C major, BuxWV138 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in D major, BuxWV139 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in D minor, BuxWV140 Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Praeludium in D minor, BuxWV140 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in E major, BuxWV141 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in E minor, BuxWV142 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in E minor, BuxWV143 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in F major, BuxWV144 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in F major, BuxWV145 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in F sharp minor, BuxWV146 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in G major, BuxWV147 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in G major, BuxWV162 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV148 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV148 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV149 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV150 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV163 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Praeludium in the Phrygian mode, BuxWV152 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Puer natus in Bethlehem, BuxWV217 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Sonata No 1 in F major, BuxWV252 Convivium
Sonata No 2 in G major, BuxWV253 Convivium
Sonata No 3 in A minor, BuxWV254 Convivium
Sonata No 4 in B flat major, BuxWV255 Convivium
Sonata No 5 in C major, BuxWV256 Convivium
Sonata No 6 in D minor, BuxWV257 Convivium
Sonata No 7 in E minor, BuxWV258 Convivium
Te Deum, BuxWV218 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Toccata in D minor, BuxWV155 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Toccata in F major, BuxWV156 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Toccata in F major, BuxWV157 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Toccata in G major, BuxWV164 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Toccata in G major, BuxWV165 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Vater unser im Himmelreich, BuxWV219 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BuxWV220 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BuxWV221 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BuxWV222 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BuxWV223 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BuxWV224 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
Ach Gott und Herr, BuxWV177 (Buxtehude)
Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, BuxWV178 (Buxtehude)
Auf meinen lieben Gott, BuxWV179 (Buxtehude)
Canzona in C major, BuxWV166 (Buxtehude)
Canzona in D minor, BuxWV168 (Buxtehude)
Canzona in E minor, BuxWV169 (Buxtehude)
Canzona in G major, BuxWV170 (Buxtehude)
Canzona in G minor, BuxWV173 (Buxtehude)
Canzonetta in A minor, BuxWV225 (Buxtehude)
Canzonetta in C major, BuxWV167 (Buxtehude)
Canzonetta in G major, BuxWV171 (Buxtehude)
Canzonetta in G major, BuxWV172 (Buxtehude)
Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, BuxWV180 (Buxtehude)
Ciaccona in C minor, BuxWV159 (Buxtehude)
Ciaccona in E minor, BuxWV160 (Buxtehude)
Danket dem Herren, BuxWV181 (Buxtehude)
Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BuxWV182 (Buxtehude)
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BuxWV183 (Buxtehude)
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BuxWV184 (Buxtehude)
Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, BuxWV185 (Buxtehude)
Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BuxWV186 (Buxtehude)
Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl, BuxWV187 (Buxtehude)
Fuga in B flat major, BuxWV176 (Buxtehude)
Fuga in C major, BuxWV174 (Buxtehude)
Fuga in G major, BuxWV175 (Buxtehude)
Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BuxWV188 (Buxtehude)
Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BuxWV189 (Buxtehude)
Gott der Vater wohn uns bei, BuxWV190 (Buxtehude)
Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn, BuxWV191 (Buxtehude)
Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn, BuxWV192 (Buxtehude)
Herr Jesu Christ, ich weiss gar wohl, BuxWV193 (Buxtehude)
Ich dank dir schon durch deinen Sohn, BuxWV195 (Buxtehude)
Ich dank dir, lieber Herre, BuxWV194 (Buxtehude)
Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BuxWV196 (Buxtehude)
In dulci iubilo, BuxWV197 (Buxtehude)
Iubilate Domino, omnis terra, BuxWV64 (Buxtehude)
Jesu, meine Freud und Lust, BuxWV59 (Buxtehude)
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der den Tod überwand, BuxWV198 (Buxtehude)
Komm heiliger Geist, Herre Gott, BuxWV199 (Buxtehude)
Komm heiliger Geist, Herre Gott, BuxWV200 (Buxtehude)
Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn, BuxWV201 (Buxtehude)
Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich, BuxWV202 (Buxtehude)
Magnificat noni toni, BuxWV205 (Buxtehude)
Magnificat primi toni, BuxWV203 (Buxtehude)
Magnificat primi toni, BuxWV204 (Buxtehude)
Mensch, willt du leben seliglich, BuxWV206 (Buxtehude)
Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott, BuxWV207 (Buxtehude)
Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist, BuxWV208 (Buxtehude)
Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist, BuxWV209 (Buxtehude)
Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein, BuxWV210 (Buxtehude)
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BuxWV211 (Buxtehude)
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV212 (Buxtehude)
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV213 (Buxtehude)
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV214 (Buxtehude)
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV215 (Buxtehude)
Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWV161 (Buxtehude)
Praeambulum in A minor, BuxWV158 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in A major, BuxWV151 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in A minor, BuxWV153 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in C major, BuxWV136 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in C major, BuxWV137 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in C major, BuxWV138 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in D major, BuxWV139 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in D minor, BuxWV140 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in D minor, BuxWV140 (Buxtehude/Prokofiev)
Praeludium in E major, BuxWV141 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in E minor, BuxWV142 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in E minor, BuxWV143 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in F major, BuxWV144 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in F major, BuxWV145 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in F sharp minor, BuxWV146 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in G major, BuxWV147 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in G major, BuxWV162 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV148 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV149 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV150 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV163 (Buxtehude)
Praeludium in the Phrygian mode, BuxWV152 (Buxtehude)
Puer natus in Bethlehem, BuxWV217 (Buxtehude)
Sonata No 1 in F major, BuxWV252 (Buxtehude)
Sonata No 2 in G major, BuxWV253 (Buxtehude)
Sonata No 3 in A minor, BuxWV254 (Buxtehude)
Sonata No 4 in B flat major, BuxWV255 (Buxtehude)
Sonata No 5 in C major, BuxWV256 (Buxtehude)
Sonata No 6 in D minor, BuxWV257 (Buxtehude)
Sonata No 7 in E minor, BuxWV258 (Buxtehude)
Te Deum, BuxWV218 (Buxtehude)
Toccata in D minor, BuxWV155 (Buxtehude)
Toccata in F major, BuxWV156 (Buxtehude)
Toccata in F major, BuxWV157 (Buxtehude)
Toccata in G major, BuxWV164 (Buxtehude)
Toccata in G major, BuxWV165 (Buxtehude)
Vater unser im Himmelreich, BuxWV219 (Buxtehude)
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BuxWV220 (Buxtehude)
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BuxWV221 (Buxtehude)
Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BuxWV222 (Buxtehude)
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BuxWV223 (Buxtehude)
Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BuxWV224 (Buxtehude)
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