Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707)
Opera Omnia XVII - Vocal Works 7
Amaryllis Dieltiens, Gerlinde Samann, Dorothee Wohlgemuth (sopranos), Maarten Engeltjes (alto), Tilman Lichdi (tenor) Klaus Mertens (bass)
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Ton Koopman
rec. Waalse Kerk Amsterdam, 2012
CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72256 [76.08 + 70.36]

This is the seventh release (of ten) of the vocal works in the “complete works” series of music by Dieterich Buxtehude. The seventeenth instalment overall, this double-disc set maintains the extremely high standards set by earlier issues. As with the previous ones, it is splendidly presented in a separate slipcase. There's an attractive cover reproducing a rather beautiful view of Lübeck from 1767. The full and glossy booklet includes good notes from Christoph Wolff, texts and an interesting facsimile of the title page of the printed score of Mit Fried un Freud.

The music featured comprises arias, chorale settings and sacred concertos. They range from the austere and melancholic Mit Fried un Freud to the really rather jolly Aschwinget euch himmelan and the lively and vibrant Quemadmodum desiderat cervus. Amongst the soloists Maarten Engeltjes particularly impressed. He has a strong and clear voice, just the right amount of vibrato and excellent enunciation and leans into notes nicely imbuing the music with character. I was particularly swayed by him in Mit Fried un Freud, which, with its very high notes, tested his range severely. One can hear the struggle, but he wins through, and the resultant frailty of sound lends an appropriate extra dimension that suits the work very well, actually enhancing it rather than detracting. For me, this was the highlight of the double-disc set; a simply extraordinary work and performance – extremely affecting, moving and convincing.

The bass is also good — although his voice cannot be described as especially attractive — and he likewise, to my ears, applies the perfect amount of vibrato, avoiding both excess and paucity. The three sopranos are generally good, although Gerlinde Samann struggles a little in Herzlich tut mich verlangen. Her is sound quite breathy in this — some of which sounds a little too low for her. She is fine in the upper registers.

Overall, these are fine performances of diverse and beautiful works; the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra play with fluency and commitment under Koopman’s masterly baton, and I can highly recommend the set, and especially the powerful and effective rendition of Mit Fried un Freud.

Em Marshall-Luck

Reviews of other releases
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 9

CD 1
1. An filius non est Dei [11.50]
2. All solch dein Giit' wir preisen [2.57]
3. Schwinget euch himmelan [10.20]
4. Laudate, pueri, Dominum [4.55]
5. Mit Fried und Freud [9.55]
6. O wie selig sind [7.26]
7. Du Frieden-Fiirst, Herr Jesu Christ [9.08]
8. Furwahr, er trug unsere Krankheit [10.55]
9. Herzlich tut mich verlangen [8.35]
CD 2
1. Nimm von uns, Herr [12.58]
2. Quemadmodum desiderat cervus [5.28]
3. Ich halte es dafur [12.40]
4. Ich sprach in meinem Herzen [7.48]
5. Jesu, meiner Freuden Meister [2.43]
6. War Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit [3.44]
7. Dein edles Herz, der Liebe Thron [13.35]
8. Wenn ich, Herr Jesu, habe dich [5.48]
9. Domine salvum fac regem et exaudi nos [5.45]

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