The Chorale Fantasia on ‘Ich dank dir, lieber Herre’, BuxWV194, shows Buxtehude’s style at its most phantasticus
. Unusually, the first line of the melody is heard right at the outset, fully harmonized. The subsequent lines are not stated, but bars 3 to 35, and the ostinato-like passage beginning at bar 54 (at 2'09'', heard most clearly in the pedal part), take the first few notes of the second line as their cue; and at bar 73 (2'46''), where the time signature changes from 4/4 to 6/4, a dance-like, more extensive ostinato begins: its material, like that of the stately coda (bar 96, from 3'47''), appears to be independent of the chorale melody, as if the composer had abandoned the chorale fantasia and embarked on a praeludium.
from notes by Relf Clark © 2012