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Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707)
Complete organ Works -Volume 5
Canzonetta in G, BWV 171 [2:15]
Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn, BWV 201 [2:37]
Praeludium in C, BWV 137 [5:42]
Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 219 [2:21]
Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 188 [8:12]
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der den Tod überwand, BWV 198 [1:28]
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BWV 215 [2:15]
Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl, BWV 187 [3:18]
Praeludium in E minor, BWV 143 [6:23]
Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn, BWV 192 [2:06]
Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich, BWV 202 [1:09]
Praeludium in the Phrygian mode, BWV 152 [4:19]
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV 183 [3:03]
Praeludium in F, BWV 144 [3:04]
Magnificat primi toni, BWV 204 [4:17]
Fuga in G, BWV 175 [2:59]
Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist, BWV 209 [2:24]
Praeludium in E, BWV 141 [7:18]
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 220 [2:06]
Ich dank dir, lieber Herre, BWV 194 [4:16]
Ach Gott und Herr, BWV 177 [2:15]
Praeludium in G, BWV 147 [3:57]
Christopher Herrick (organ)
rec. Klosterkirke, Mariager, Denmark, 18-20 February 2012. DDD
HYPERION CDA 67964 [77:46] 

Experience Classicsonline

This is the fifth and last volume in Christopher Herrick's recording for Hyperion of Buxtehude's complete organ works. Previous volumes were all universally lauded (see reviews of the third and fourth volumes). Propelled by what was the likely tricentenary of Buxtehude's birth in 2007, there are now, happily, scores of CDs of his organ music, including a good few complete recordings: on MDG Gold (MDG3141438), Loft Recordings (review), Naxos (final volume (review), Dacapo (final volume review), Vox (CD6X-3613), Documents (224050, also on Classico ClassCD143 and previously on Paula Records) and Danacord (DACOCD 381-386). Besides Herrick on Hyperion, Ton Koopman also has an unfolding full set on Challenge Classics. It’s part of a complete works project, standing at volume 16 (CC 72255) by the end of 2012.
As with most of the previous volumes, Herrick's generously-timed programme consists of an entertaining mix of items, mainly Praeludia or Chorale Preludes. Slower, ruminative pieces alternate with boisterous, dramatic works in a recital that manages to be both elegant and fulgurous, profound and sensuous. Works generally run to less than four minutes each, but short does not equate with inconsequential in Buxtehude's music: even the merest pieces speak volumes about the composer's imagination, virtuosity and originality.
For this final recording Herrick has, quite reasonably, returned to Denmark - a country which, it is easy to overlook, Buxtehude recognised as his motherland. The church at Mariager was already 250 years old when Buxtehude started composing; the organ, by contrast, could scarcely be newer: it was built by French organ maker Bernard Aubertin between 2007 and 2010. Its sound is therefore modern, but aesthetically rounded.
Audio has been marvellously captured by Hyperion's engineer, Simon Eadon, although the sharpest ears will note that the final milliseconds of each track have been artificially faded to silence. There can be no good reason for this, but it really is only a fraction of a second, and most listeners will surely not notice … or possibly care. The church acoustics are subtle and kind.
Herrick was almost seventy when this recording was made, the latest in an exclusive contract for Hyperion that has led to a discography of more than forty albums in a quarter of a century. Yet his fingers, feet and musical intelligence remain as nimble and sure as ever, and there is always room for another complete cycle of Buxtehude's organ works when the music is this good or performed this well. Price issues aside, this set ought to be the primary destination for collectors.
As usual with Hyperion, the CD booklet gives excellent information in English, French and German on the music, track by track, as well as a full description of the organ, including registrations for each of the pieces, and a black and white photo - colour in the digital booklet available here - of the instrument itself.
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