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Cat. No. CHAN 0723 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0723 - Buxtehude: Sacred Cantatas, Vol. 2
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Available From: 08 August 2005
The organist of the Marienkirche in Lübeck, Dietrich Buxtehude would often direct a vocal piece during the morning or afternoon service. Small-scale pieces constitute the majority of his vocal output and may have been performed during such services, or outside church, in household devotion or in informal gatherings. At the Swedish court in Stockholm the Kapellmeister, Gustaf Düben, assembled a vast collection of vocal compositions, including much of Buxtehude’s output.

The tunefulness and characteristic strophic text setting of the sacred aria, although with several added layers of musical elaboration, can be heard in Nichts soll uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes. A strophic text is also the basis of Das neugebor’ne Kindelein.The tunefulness of the aria enters An filius non est Dei whose Passiontide atmosphere is evoked with a rich texture of three violas da gamba and continuo, ideal for poignant harmonies. The constant iteration of the bass line characteristic of the ciaccona could create a mesmeric effect, particularly apt in Jesu dulcis memoria in which the onward tread of the walking bass creates continuity across the ends of strophes; the effect is like a ceaseless outpouring of sweetness.

Quemadmodum desiderat cervus also has a ciaccona bass, against which Buxtehude offers a multitude of different figures in the upper voices, ranging from lilting slurs to ecstatic melismas. A related piece is Jesu, komm, mein Trost und Lachen. Cantatas that use passages of Biblical prose set each verse of text to an individually characterised musical phrase, often with instrumental commentary, as in Herr, nun läßt du deinen Diener which concludes with a joyful gigue. A similar gigue is used at the end of Dixit Dominus Domino meo, a setting of Psalm 110. More ambitious is the setting of Psalm 103, verses 1 – 5, Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele. Here the lush key of A major and the opulent string texture of three violins, two violas and continuo all serve to strengthen the exhilaration of praise.
Reviews

…a performance of great musical versatility…
Gramophone on CHAN 0715 (Bach)

Emma Kirkby and Suzie LeBlanc make an excellent pairing, distinguishable from each other in both voice and approach, yet at the same time superbly matched in duet; and Peter Harvey has the friendliest of bass voices… an expert recording in an amenable aco
Gramophone on CHAN 0691 (Buxtehude)

Charles Daniels enters into the exultant spirit of ‘Lobe den Herrn’, especially its exuberant final alleluia, and the three male voices bring an almost Italianate sweetness to ‘Jesu dulcis memoria’, one of several fine examples of Buxtehude’s fascination with the chaconne, as well as conveying all the darkness and pain of the richly-scored Passiontide meditation ‘An filius non est Dei’.
The Telegraph

 

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