Hyperion Records

Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWV161
The Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWV161, is one of Buxtehude’s three ostinato works for organ, the others being the Ciaccona in C minor and the Ciaccona in E minor. Although the overall impression is one of elegant improvisation, this is among Buxtehude’s most carefully planned works: seven statements of the ground in the home key are followed by seven in F major, seven in A minor, and the seven in D minor with which the work concludes; and all twenty-eight are given to the pedals. Above them, textures range from the smooth, somewhat vocal ones heard at the outset, to the lively, decidedly instrumental ones that dominate the proceedings once the work is under way; and one is reminded throughout of the passacaglia’s origins in dance.

from notes by Relf Clark © 2011

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