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Buxtehude: Opera Omnia II - Vocal Works Vol 1 / Blaze, Abo, Mertens, Koopman

Release Date: 03/13/2007 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72241   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Caroline StamOrlanda Velez IsidroJohannette ZomerRobin Blaze,   ... 
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque OrchestraAmsterdam Baroque Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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CD:  $24.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

BUXTEHUDE Das jüngste Gericht Ton Koopman, cond; Caroline Stam (sop); Olanda Velez Isidro (sop); Johannette Zomer (sop); Robin Blaze (alt, sop); Andreas Karasiak (ten); Klaus Mertens (bs); Amsterdam Baroque O & Ch CHALLENGE 72241 (2 CDs: 136:55 & )

When I compiled a discography of the vocal works of Dieterich Buxtehude (1637–1707) over a decade ago, there was only one recording of this large work, a Musical Heritage Society set from Da Read more Camera first issued in 1965. Heinz Markus Göttsche brought it in under 97 minutes. Klaus Eichhorn conducted a recording for Ambitus a year or so ago, but that occupies only one CD. As its listing in the supplement of Georg Karstädt’s catalog indicates, the attribution of this work to the composer is dubious. The manuscript survives in the great Düben collection of his works, now in Uppsala, Sweden, but it bears no date or attribution, and the libretto falls short of the literary quality of Buxtehude’s best works (though a few other works known to be authentic are no better). The first recording used an edition by Willy Maxton, published by Bärenreiter (1939, 1953), which treated the surviving parts rather freely. Ton Koopman has made his own edition from the manuscript, just published by Carus Verlag. Koopman lists 83 numbers, 25 more than Maxton, accounting for the different lengths of the two recordings (I have not heard Eichhorn’s version, the shortest).

The Last Judgment is not an unusual subject for a Baroque oratorio. The setting is highly dramatic, especially in act I, where three soprano soloists take the parts of Avarice, Wantonness, and Pride, arguing against the chorus’s defense of virtuous living backed up by God’s own words from Scripture sung by the bass solo. In the other two acts, the solos are undefined and do not usually stand for the vices. The Scriptural passages are now assigned to various soloists, and a trio of countertenor, tenor, and bass is also used. The development of the argument is more diffuse than in act I, and the chorus is given several preexisting chorale texts. Act I can seem to be a different work.

Klaus Mertens is outstanding in the Scriptural passages assigned to God, accompanied to good effect by a regal (not so identified in the notes), but all the solo voices are excellent. (One soprano, Johannette Zomer, just made a disc of solo cantatas for this label under another conductor.) Koopman has no doubt about the authenticity of the work, though Christoph Wolff in a detailed note leaves the issue unsettled. As a rare surviving example of the kind of Abendmusiken Buxtehude presented during the Sundays of Advent in Lübeck, a practice that began under his predecessor, Franz Tunder, and continued to the end of the 18th century, the work is valuable, and its intrinsic worth is not to be minimized. Koopman has done yeoman work in restoring it and directing the performance. Following his playing of a two-disc set of harpsichord works, this continues Koopman’s new project of recording the complete works of the composer on 30 CDs. Since Koopman spent a decade on the complete cantatas of J. S. Bach, we can look forward to this series with considerable anticipation.

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Works on This Recording

Das jüngste Gericht, BuxWV Anh 3 "Wacht! Euch zum Streit gefasset macht" by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Caroline Stam (Soprano), Orlanda Velez Isidro (Soprano), Johannette Zomer (Soprano),
Robin Blaze (Countertenor), Andreas Karasiak (Tenor), Klaus Mertens (Bass)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Remarkable Project January 19, 2013 By Clifford H C. (Thompson, MB) See All My Reviews "Buxtehude - Opera Omnia - Vocal Works - Ton Koopman - Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir - This is a monumental project by Ton Koopman and his performers. Recording all of Dietrich Buxtehude extant works. The performances are very accomplished and live up to Koopmans very high standards. Buxtehude’s music runs the gamut from extreme joy to remarkable sorrow. Buxtehude’s music is always inventive and it is wonderful to hear it brought back to life. You can see why a young Sebastian Bach would travel so far to hear his music." Report Abuse
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