DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE: Samlede orgelværker
02 February 2016
RECORDING OF THE MONTH: MusicWeb International
Stuart SillitoeI daresay for some people six and a half hours of organ music will be a bit much.
That said, Dietrich Buxtehude has come to be seen as one of the most important musical figures of the middle baroque in Germany, as well as one of the most important figures in the development of the famous German organ school. After all, J S Bach did famously walk over 200 miles just to meet and hear him play the organ.This set comprises a series of single discs that are available separately
and which were received with some critical acclaim on their original release. Listening to this set I can understand why. Whilst the name of Bine Bryndorf was fairly new to me, I had only come across her through listening to Volume 3 (8.226023), I do know this music fairly well. I have a few single discs as well as the wonderful, though incomplete, 5 CD set by René Saorgin (HMX 2901484.88) who sadly died recently on 16 December 2015. I always thought that Saorgin’s mastery of the music and his instrument would take some beating, but here in Bine Bryndorf, who has recently been appointed as Visiting Professor of Organ at the Royal Academy of Music in London, is an organist who not only matches the great man’s understanding of this fine music, but in many ways surpasses him; and not just because she offers a complete edition of Buxtehude’s organ music.Bryndorf’s playing is excellent throughout.
It has all the poise and finesse of Saorgin as well as that of Christopher Herrick (Hyperion) and Harold Vogel (MDG) whose playing of this music I also greatly admire. Bryndorf’s tempos are well measured and she effortlessly brings out every nuance of this music. Just listen to the Toccata in F Major
, BuxWV 157 or Nun Lob, mein Seel, den Herren
, BuxWV 212 with its bird sounds and you will hear what I mean. It is a shame however, that volumes 4-6 do not seem to be presented here as SACDs which was the case with their original release. However, the recorded sound is excellent and I would go as far as to say that they are some of the best recordings of Buxtehude’s organ music that I have heard.Bryndorf has chosen her instruments well
, including one from her home town of Helsingør, which is better known to Shakespeare fans as Elsinore. Each seems to offer the listener a sound-world well suited, and in some cases links, to the music and the composer. Full specifications of the organs used are included in the booklet, which also contains an excellent essay on Buxtehude as well as detailed notes on each disc by Kerala J. Snyder. This set has quickly become my preferred set. Yes there are recordings of specific works which I enjoy more by other organists, but if it is a set of the complete organ music that you are looking for then this is the one I would choose.