The rediscovery of the works of the great Danish organist and composer Dietrich Buxtehude occurred as a byproduct of the Bach revival that began in the nineteenth century. At the age of twenty, Bach made his legendary 200-plus mile journey on foot to meet and hear Buxtehude. This evident admiration inspired the Bach revivalists to investigate Buxtehude's organ works, but much of his other music remains almost unknown, although the chamber and clavier music has at last begun to circulate more widely in recent years.
Of Buxtehude's twenty-one extant chamber works, seven are presented on this disc. The scoring for violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord identifies these works as belonging to the north German chamber tradition. In Italy, two violins and continuo was the norm for trio writing, but German composers often preferred the contrast of timbre and range that violin and gamba provided. These attractive works were the avant-garde of their day, written in the new stylus phantasticus with emphasis on expression, virtuosity and excitement, incorporating otherwise unusual progressions, hidden ornaments, ingenious turns and embellishments within the music.
Performed with Convivium’s customarily high standard of grace and expertise, for which they are so renowned.