Nicholas Danby, Dietrich Buxtehude - The Organ

Saturday 1st June 1991
Nicholas Danby, Dietrich Buxtehude - The Organ

STYLE: Classical
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Virgin

Reviewed by Dave Massey

This album is another in the Virgin series that attempts to put classical recordings into an authentic setting. To that end, Nicholas Danby here plays a surviving Baroque Organ at the church of St Laurents in Alkmaar, Holland. Dietrich Buxtehude was considered by Bach to be a master and when he was a young man he took a 200 mile trek to go and listen to Buxtehudes playing. The German organs of the time dictated a style of composition quite different from that found anywhere else at the time as they were made up of several divisions played from 2-4 manuals giving a great range and separation of sound - from the bright sparkling sounds of 'In Dulci Jubilo' (Bux WV 197) and surprisingly of the 'G Minor Prelude' (G minor being a relatively 'dark' key) (Bux WV 148) to the mellow and rounded sounds of 'Puer natus in Bethlehem' (Bux WV 217) and the power of the 'Toccata in F' (Bux WV 156) with its growling pedal bass. This recording is as good as you will hear anywhere, and for me the organ works of Buxtehude are quite equal to Bach's with breathtaking counterpoint which is both complicated and delightfully 'open'. Many of these works were designed to provide an atmosphere conducive to worship and celebration and that is masterfully achieved and enhanced by the phrasing and interpretation of Nicholas Denby.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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