Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707)
Organ Music - Volume 7

Præambulum in A minor, BuxWV158 [5:37]
Præludium in C major, BuxWV138 [5:03]
Fantasia: Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BuxWV188 [10:13]
Canzona in G minor, BuxWV173 [2:31]
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV214 [3:59]
Canzonetta in C major, BuxWV167 [1:34]
Aria with three variations in a minor, BuxWV249 [6:39]
Ich dank dir schon durch deinen Sohn, BuxWV195 [6:13]
Courant zimble with eight variations, BuxW245 [10:18]
Præludium in F major, BuxWV144 [4:00]
Præludium in B flat major (fragment), BuxWV154 [1:44]
Canzona in G major, BuxWV170 [4:28]
Præludium in G minor, BuxWV163 [10:14]
Julia Brown (organ - Pasi)
rec. St Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha, Nebraska, USA, 18-20 September 2006. DDD
NAXOS 8.570312 [72:33]


This is Volume 7 in Naxos’s complete survey of Buxtehude’s organ music, begun as long ago as 2001. Like Volumes 5 and 6, it is played by Julia Brown on the remarkable Martin Pasi organ in Omaha Cathedral. I was generally impressed with Volume 6, as I am again with this new recording. To save unnecessary repetition, please follow the hyperlink to that earlier review.
 
Like Volume 5, the front cover advertises a selection of Præludia, Chorale Fantasias and Chorale Preludes, a goodly variety of pieces including two sets of variations on dance tunes, one of them on a sarabande and the other a set of eight variations on a courant zimble. You may be as puzzled as me as to what a courant zimble is – and Keith Anderson’s otherwise very fine notes don’t explain it, other than to say that it is a courante, which is pretty obvious: I already knew that a courante was a dance form. I think the answer is that zimble is merely a capricious form of simple.
 
The use of a modern instrument is no handicap when the organ in question is playable in both well-tempered tuning and in ¼ comma meantone, making it ideal for music both before and after the time of Bach. I very much like the sound which this instrument makes and, as on Volume 6, the recording captures it very well. My colleague Chris Bragg gave a detailed description of this remarkable organ and its capabilities in his review of Volume 5, a review which also contains hyperlinks to the website of Martin Pasi, the organ’s creator, and to the reviews of volumes 1-4 of this series. The booklet contains a full specification of the organ.
 
One of the pieces on this recording, the Canzona in G, BuxWV170, also features on the sixth and final volume of Bine Bryndorf’s recording of Buxtehude’s Complete Organ Works on Naxos’s sister label, Dacapo. As with the works on that CD which overlap Brown’s Volume 6, Bryndorf is noticeably faster – 3:41 against Brown’s 4:28. As usual, timings tell only part of the story, but they are consistent with my general feeling that Bryndorf is the more agile, the lighter-fingered performer. Where Bryndorf emphasises the dance-like elements in the music, Brown is more meditative and reminds us more of Bach’s debt to Buxtehude. This should not be taken to mean that Bryndorf skates over the music oblivious to its deeper qualities or that Brown is slow and stodgy: both are thoroughly convincing in their own terms. Neither player seems to feel that Buxtehude’s famous Stylus Phantasticus – the phrase prominently displayed on the front of the Dacapo CD – means pulling the music about to make it artificially ‘exciting’.
 
I listened first to Brown’s version of the Canzona in G, to judge it on its own terms, before turning to Bryndorf’s account. I found Brown’s playing and chosen registration light and airy, bringing out the lyrical qualities of the piece so well that I found it hard to imagine that any performance could do greater justice to these qualities. If Bryndorf does, perhaps, find just that extra degree of magic in the piece, there is not a great deal in it – and I actually found myself preferring Brown’s registration in the opening bars. With equally helpful ambience and equally good recordings, in tennis terms I suppose the score is ‘deuce’.
 
In the rest of the music the situation remains much as I described it in my earlier review. There is plenty of variety in the programme, the registration is well chosen throughout and the playing deft. The performance and recording allow the music to speak for itself, with no unpleasant surprises. On neither this nor the earlier volume did I find any of the quirkiness to which my colleague Chris Bragg referred in his otherwise favourable review of Volume 5.
 
As on Volume 6, several of the pieces are based on Lutheran chorales, the tunes of which would have been familiar to Buxtehude’s original listeners in a way which they are not to a modern audience. Where this happens on the Bryndorf recording, the original words and tunes are printed in the Dacapo booklet; it would have been helpful if Naxos had done the same. I appreciate that Naxos CDs sell for about a third of the price of the Dacapo, but a couple of music examples would surely not have added much to the cost. Perhaps they could be made available on the valuable Naxos website. Perhaps, too, we might be given the registration details for individual pieces, as we are on the Dacapo recording.
 
Track 5, Nun lob, mein Seel, is based on the German Magnificat. Two other pieces based on this tune were included in Volume 6. Since this is different from the Latin plainchant setting with which listeners may be more familiar, it would have been particularly valuable to have had the tune printed in the booklet, especially when Brown’s performance stresses the underlying theme so effectively.
 
Of the pieces recorded here, the score of one only is available free online, track 2, the Præludium BuxWV138. The Canzona in G, BuxWV170, is also available but only in a transcription for four brass instruments.
 
I referred to other ongoing series of Buxtehude’s music in my review of Volume 6. Inexplicably, I omitted reference to the Dacapo/Bryndorf, now complete in six volumes. I am working on that final Dacapo volume concurrently with this (see review). I scored Brown and Bryndorf at ‘deuce’ in the case of BuxWV170, and that is likely to be my final sitting-on-the-fence position – perhaps ‘advantage Bryndorf’, to maintain the tennis metaphor – but watch this space. If I may find myself ultimately awarding the prize to Bryndorf, it will be a very close-run thing.
 
Bryndorf’s series comes at more than twice the Naxos price, of course, which may finally decide the issue. If you don’t mind duplicating some items and missing out on others, you could mix and match the two sets; the Naxos Volume 7 and the Dacapo Volume 6, for example, involve one short duplication only.
 
Keith Anderson’s notes inevitably duplicate some of the material from earlier volumes; otherwise, they are excellent.
 
Brian Wilson
 



 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.