I mentioned this super-budget 2-CD set of Buxtehudes
organ music, originally recorded by Erato, when I reviewed a new album
of organ music by Buxtehude, Bruhns and Bach (Parnassie PAR62, Benoit
Dumon) in Download
. If that very successful recording has given you a
taste for exploring Buxtehudes music further — only three pieces
by him on that recital — you may well wish to turn to the organist with
whom I compared Dumon when I wrote that he might well be the best French
interpreter of the organ music of the North German School since Marie-Claire
If you are wondering why I have taken so long to write this review since
that brief mention, its not for lack of having listened to and
enjoyed the recording frequently. Ascribe the delay to laziness
in facing the onerous task of typing in all the track details and timings.
If the review is still a little on the short side thats because
there are only so many ways that I can say how fine the performances
are. Alains playing and well-chosen registration on an organ ideal
for Buxtehude fit the music perfectly.
My only regret is that Warner couldnt fit onto the 2-CD format
all 36 works originally released by Erato in 1989, 190 minutes in total,
and that they didnt add a 3-CD set variant to the Apex label.
For the Parnassie review I listened to Alains recordings of BuxWV149
and 211 alongside Dumons and theres very little to choose.
Alain is a little more nimble in BuxWV149 but theres never any
sense that Dumon allows the music to drag; if she brings out the musics
brilliance slightly better, he is a little more persuasive in the more
I mentioned other recordings in that Download News. Completists will
want René Saorgin on Harmonia Mundi, currently available only
as downloads. If anything he outshines even Alain and Dumon at times.
I forgot to mention some other distinguished recordings of Buxtehudes
organ music in that Download News, though Ive mentioned them elsewhere.
Christopher Herricks excursus is now complete on five individual
CDs from Hyperion — see review
of Volume 5 with links to other volumes. For a comparison of the first
three volumes of that series with the complete set by Hans Davidsson
on Loft Recordings and of both with releases on Naxos and DaCapo I refer
you to my review
of the Loft set.
Fine as these complete sets are, the main competition for the Alain
discs comes from another budget-price twofer of recordings by Lionel
Rogg on the EMI Gemini label — review
That seems to be out of stock wherever I looked. I hope that Warner
will restore it to circulation but meanwhile you can download it from
in 320 kb/s mp3 for £5.99. Amazon list it as out of stock, for
delivery when available, but at £17.91 or £19.99 from one
of their associates, both a considerable increase on the original super-budget
I made the Rogg recording Bargain of the Month. We no longer have such
a category but if we had, the Alain would equally deserve it. At around
£8 or less the Apex wont break the bank even if you already
have the Rogg which duplicates slightly less than half of the contents.
If forced to choose between the two it would have to be Alain, whose
performances are for the most part slightly more sprightly than Roggs.
Both recordings have come up well: the Apex is DDD, the Gemini ADD.
The Parnassie recording demonstrates how much Bach owed to his predecessors
and how well Buxtehude stands up to the comparison, especially the longer
works on CD2 of the Apex release. If you want to compare the two composers
organ music Warner offer a handy opportunity to do so because the Apex
series includes a single-disc selection, this time originally from the
Teldec stable, performed by Ton Koopman who combines eccentricity with
brilliance in equal measures (2564679404). Conveniently Warner point
you in that direction on the back of the booklet.
The booklet is the least attractive part of a tempting deal. As usual
with the Apex series it contains just the bare bones: titles, keys,
BuxWV (Buxtehude Werke-Verzeichnis) numbers and track lengths. You need
20/20 vision to see the track times and the recording date and venue.
The original booklet was a bit rudimentary but it contained the specification
of the organ and brief notes on the music. The cover shots of Apex reissues
are usually baffling; this one is more so than ever: wallpaper peeling
off a wall?
Præludium in g minor, BuxWV149 [6:52]
Choral Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern
, BuxWV223 [6:11]
Præludium in f sharp minor, BuxWV146 [7:36]
Choral In dulci jubilo
, BuxWV197 [2:35]
Præludium in D, BuxWV139 [5:09]
Choral Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland
, BuxWV211 [2:05]
Præludium in C, BuxWV137 [5:09]
Choral Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt
, BuxWV183 [3:34]
Præludium in d minor, BuxWV140 [5:44]
Choral Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott
, BuxWV199 [3:55]
Præludium in e minor, BuxWV142 [8:22]
Choral Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder
, BuxWV178 [3:28]
Præludium in F, BuxWV145 [6:10]
Præludium in a minor, BuxWV153 [6:18]
Fuga in C, BuxWV174 [3:00]
Passacaglia in d minor, BuxWV161 [5:48]
Ciacona in e minor, BuxWV160 [5:10]
Ciacona in c minor, BuxWV159 [6:06]
Canzonetta in G, BuxWV171 [2:29]
Magnificat Primi Toni
, BuxWV203 [7:48]
Choral Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich
, BuxWV182 [3:59]
Toccata in d minor, BuxWV155 [6:58]
Te Deum laudamus
, BuxWV218 [14:18]
Toccata in F, BuxWV156 [7:38]
Choral Nimm von uns, Herr
, BuxWV207 [8:05]