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Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c. 1637-1707)
Sonata in B-Flat Major, Op. 1, No. 4, BuxWV 255 [9:07]
Prelude in G Minor, BuxWV 163 [9:20]
Sonata in C Minor, Op. 2, No. 4, BuxWV 262 [10:45]
Choral Prelude “Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren”, BuxWV 213 [2:29]
Choral Prelude “Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren”, BuxWV 214 [3:56]
Sonata in F Major, Op. 1, No. 1, BuxWV 252 [11:33]
Choral Fantasy “Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren”, BuxWV 212 [3:41]
Fugue in C Major, BuxWV 174 [3:09]
Sonata in A Minor, BuxWV 272 [9:14]
Le Concert Brisé
Pierre-Alain Clerc (organ)
Stefan Legée (sackbut)
William Dongois (cornett)
rec. 20-22 August 2005, St Paul, Lausanne, Switzerland
ACCENT ACC 24291 [63:18]

Recorded in 2005, it has taken nearly ten years for this recording to see the light of day, but this is no reason to overlook some genuinely fine musicianship. The premise of these recordings is an investigation of the practice of arranging music for instruments different to those for which indicated by surviving scores. Adaptation and improvisation on someone else’s material was seen more as a tribute until relatively recently in musical history, and in this case William Dongois has made his programme from a selection of Buxtehude’s sonatas for violin, viol and continuo, adapting them for cornett, sackbut and organ.
Dieterich Buxtehude frequently used the cornett in his concertante vocal music, and with the lower tones of the sackbut and a superb sounding 17th century style organ this has all the period feel you could ask for. The sound is set in a nice acoustic in a realistic perspective, and there is both unity and variety in the various tracks, with organ solo, duo and trio contrasts adding to a satisfying all-round effect.
Buxtehude’s music is full of surprises and fascinating little tricks, and we are wrong-footed if the da chiesa context of these performances leads us to expect churchy conventions. Even the three versions of Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren are fascinating, though function more as organ intermezzos for the highlights in the four Sonata compositions which are the stars of the show. Harmonic twists and turns, breathtaking melodic expressiveness and entertainingly animated and sometimes truly virtuoso writing are all part of the fun, and these are the kinds of performances in which you can lose yourself, forget time, and emerge refreshed and stimulated. Expressive musicianship is combined with the utmost clarity, allowing Buxtehude’s remarkable chamber music to glow and flourish. William Dongois makes no claim for ‘musicological correctness’, “our intention is merely to present a plausible view of what could well have been the practice of the time.”
With a typically clean and atmospheric recording from the Accent label, this is a genuinely desirable release and one which will deliver delights and a shot of Baroque sunshine to your mood every time it’s played.
Dominy Clements