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Hyperion Records

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Church interior, with people at prayer in the foreground and a small procession in the main aisle by Bartolomeus van Bassen (c1590-1652)
Johnny van Haeften Gallery, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67809
Recording details: January 2009
Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Simon Eadon & Sean Lewis
Release date: January 2010
Total duration: 14 minutes 4 seconds

'The magnificent 1741 Wagner organ in Trondheim's Nidaros Cathedral. In possession of some pugnacious reeds and a thrilling 'pleno', it's an ideal choice for a disc which includes some big-boned praeludia as well as Buxtehude's most extended organ work: the imposing Fantasia on the Te Deum whose architectural acuity Herrick unfolds with magisterial authority … Herrick's flair for apposite registration illuminates at every turn … sonorously splendiferous' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The ambitions Te Deum and the grand Praeludium in C major confirm Buxtehude's inspiring originality. No wonder the young Bach once walked 200 miles to hear him play' (The Observer)

Te Deum, BuxWV218
Chorale Fantasia

Preludium  [2'04]
Te Deum laudamus  [3'02]
Te Martyrum  [1'15]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Chorale Fantasia on the Te Deum, BuxWV218, a plainsong-based work, is among Buxtehude’s longest and grandest works for organ. The first of its five sections is a short praeludium. The second begins with the melody’s opening phrase in long notes, each six-note group corresponding with the six syllables of ‘Te Deum laudamus’, and it continues with four-voice writing based on the notes that are sung to ‘te Dominum confitemur’. The long third section (‘Pleni sunt caeli et terra’) makes use of two manuals, much of it consisting of sprightly passagework directed to be played on the Rückpositiv and accompanied on the ‘O[rgel]’ or main division; and Buxtehude engineers ‘echo’ effects by the alternation of manuals. The fourth section, a trio, gives the pedals the notes associated with the section of text beginning ‘Te Martyrum’, and the fifth and final section begins with a fugal passage based on the notes that are sung to the words ‘Tu devicto mortis aculeo’. It continues with a further fugal passage, based on the last line of the melody: this is a kind of quadruple fugue, for each statement of the plainsong-based subject is accompanied by three counter-subjects. The fiery coda affirms the work’s Phrygian modality.

from notes by Relf Clark © 2010

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