Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707)
Complete Organ Works - Volume 3
Praeludium in D minor, BuxWV140 [7:19]
Danket dem Herren, BuxWV181 [2:55]
Canzonetta in G major, BuxWV172 [2:07]
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV163 [7:52]
Canzona in E minor, BuxWV169 [2:44]
Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, BuxWV185 [2:03]
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV212 [3:16]
Praeludium in F major, BuxWV145 [6:33]
Herr Jesu Christ, ich weiss gar wohl, BuxWV193 [2:27]
Magnificat primi toni, BuxWV203 [8:05]
Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BuxWV189 [1:47]
Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BuxWV186 [2:30]
Puer natus in Bethlehem, BuxWV217 [0:54]
Praeludium in C major, BuxWV136 [6:17]
Komm heiliger Geist, Herre Gott, BuxWV200 [3:38]
Canzona in G major, BuxWV170 [3:46]
Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn, BuxWV191 [3:33]
Praeludium in F sharp minor, BuxWV146 [7:35]
Christopher Herrick (organ)
rec. St-Louis-en-l'Īle, Paris, April 2010. DDD
HYPERION CDA67855 [75:21]

This is volume 3 in Christopher Herrick's complete organ works of Dieterich Buxtehude on Hyperion. Volume 2 is reviewed here (scroll down about a third of a page), with links to some of the already completed cycles on other labels. Following the (likely) tricentenary of Buxtehude's birth in 2007, there are now, happily, dozens of CDs of his organ music available that prove that he was every bit Johann Sebastian Bach's equal on this magnificent instrument; the influence, after all, can only have been in one direction.

This release is of mainly short pieces: the Canzonas, Chorale Preludes, set of Choral Variations and one of the Chorale Fantasias are all around three minutes or less. Only the five Preludes (Praeludia) and the Magnificat fantasia are more substantial; nevertheless, this is 75 minutes of outstanding music and playing - elegant, flamboyant, uplifting, exciting, mellifluous.

The Praeludia in particular are among of the most exhilarating organ music of their - or any - time. The so-called stylus fantasticus was never a term better applied, whether technically or idiomatically, than to these bold, rollicking works. Christopher Herrick puts in a performance worthy of Buxtehude, light and fleet of finger and foot, instinctive and brilliant. He comes as close as is possible to recreating on a recording the experience of hearing Buxtehude improvising the thrilling Praeludium in G minor or the soul-stirring, bone-shaking Praeludium in F# minor - and what an experience it must have been! Even the shortest pieces, like the lively two-minute Canzonetta, manage to speak volumes about the inventiveness and virtuosity of this still under-exposed composer.

The technical sound quality and church acoustics are generally very good, and the organ at St-Louis-en-l'Ile - started only in 2002 and inaugurated as recently as 2005 - glorious. As usual with Hyperion, the CD booklet gives excellent detail on performer, composer and music, even including a complete list of stops employed for each piece. The picture on the front cover is not of St Louis, but there is a black and white photo of the organ inside the booklet.


Bold and rollicking music and Herrick puts in performances that are light and fleet of finger and foot, instinctive and brilliant.