Dieterich Buxtehude was famously visited by J S Bach who walked from Arnstadt to Lübeck to hear him play. Bach stayed far longer than his employers expected, so captivated was he by the older man’s playing. That Handel also visited Lübeck, in 1703, further underlines Buxtehude’s stature.
The indefatigable Christopher Herrick has embarked on a complete series of Buxtehude’s organ music. The repertoire falls into two basic categories: free works, and works based on pre-existing melodies. To the first category belong the preludes and fugues, toccatas and fugues, ostinato works, and single-movement pieces such as the Fugue in C, BuxWV174. To the second belong the works based on chorale and plainsong melodies. A tantalizing selection of these is recorded here on the great organ of Helsingør Cathedral, Denmark.