BUXTEHUDE AND HIS CIRCLE
01 July 2016
David VickersPaul Hiller and his Theatre Voices explore the circle of church organists
and composers in northern Germany and the Baltic region that were all linked in some way to Buxtehude. One of his possible teachers in Copenhagen was the Danish court kapellmeister Kasper Förster, whose psalm Confitebor tibi Domine,
offers a hint of what the composer might have learnt in Rome from Carissimi. Another og Buxtehude's probable teachers was the organist Johann Lorentz, whose successor Christian Geist is represented by the paradoxical mood of sensuality and mournfulness in Die mit Tränen säen.
In 1668 Buxtehude succeeded the recently deceased Frans Tunder as kantor at the Marienkirche in Lübeck (and the new organist married his predecessor's daughter), and Tunder's Dominus illuminatio mea
is given a lightly intimate performance. One of Buxtehude's pupils was Nicolaus Bruhns
, whose magnificent De profundis clamavi
for solo bass is sung with ardent gravitas and virtuosity by Jakob Bloch Jespersen, and the violin ritornellos are played exquisitely by Jesenka Balic Zunic and Karoline Radziej.
Buxtehude's own chorale-based trio setting of Jesu
, meine Freude
is sung and played beautifully. Gott, hilf mir
is conceived on a more elaborate scale; its five-part vocal ensemble and five-part strings convey the emotional weight of the penitential cry for God to save the suffering soul, and Hillier's lovely performance is on a par with the very finest that the Buxtehude discography has to offer.