This collection is well chosen and ordered, and I played it straight through
with increasing pleasure. Many of the toccatas and choral fantasies are in
the 'stylus fantasticus', with sudden changes of pace and emotion.
Buxtehude's preludes are basically toccatas with fugue and toccata-like passages
alternating freely;each of those in D and A minor incorporates two fugues.
The Passacaglia in D minor may have influenced Bach, who travelled to visit
Buxtehude and hear him play.
Buxtehude went to Hamburg to visit Arp Schnitger, whose delightful organ
at St Jacob's Church there has been chosen for this recording. It is a large
instrument with four manuals and a fine assortment of characteristic stops,
which are well selected in this recital. For me, Buxtehude had been a worthy
forerunner of J S Bach, but himself a somewhat shadowy figure. This collection
brings him into focus as a fine composer in his own right. Well recorded
and with adequate background notes - I have not enjoyed an organ CD so well
for many a month.
Peter Grahame Woolf