Notes and Editorial Reviews
Suites: in A,
Canzonetta in d,
Prelude in G,
Aria in G, “
Lars Ulrik Mortensen (hpd)
NAXOS 8.570581 (54:28)
This, Volume 3 of the complete harpsichord music of
Buxtehude, continues the superb series for Naxos by the excellent Lars Ulrik Mortensen. I suppose, since this composer’s harpsichord music is not as well known as his organ music is, that I should break down and describe each piece here as I’ve done in my previous Buxtehude reviews, but my esteemed Editor-in-Chief has begged our indulgence in shorter, more terse reviews, and so I shall capitulate and draw the curtain on my proposed lecture of Buxtehude’s genius. Perhaps I could summarize his style, bold and innovative as it was, by stating that despite his Dutch genesis and German training, his music was very heavily influenced by the Italian style, particularly the style of Monteverdi—though I’m sure that other researchers could find other influences (Stradella, perhaps?). Buxtehude’s use of rubato, ritornello, inverted variants, and, above all, of
lyricism, is indicative of his music’s Italian roots. No wonder his vocal music took seed and was performed for so many decades in Italy. I’m sure that some of these harpsichord works had at least some influence on Domenico Scarlatti in addition to J. S. Bach, who admired him greatly.
Mortensen continues to impress as one of the most musical and
historically informed performers of his generation. I wasn’t at all surprised to discover that he was a pupil of, among others, Trevor Pinnock, who is also one of the better harpsichordists today, though I personally find Mortensen’s playing even more fluid in style and sensitive to color. You simply must hear this disc to believe it.
FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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