The Abendmusiken were a legendary concert series organized by Buxtehude in Lübeck. Even Johann Sebastian Bach travelled a long way to attend these concerts of sacred and instrumental music and met the master Dietrich Buxtehude, the most famous organist in Europe. To mark the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, Vox Luminis and the Ensemble Masques have come together to perform a programme of cantatas (Gott hilf mir, denn das Wasser geht mir bis an die Seele, BuxWV 34 | Befiehl dem Engel, dass er komm, BuxWV 10 | Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60 | Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr, BuxWV 41) and instrumental pieces (Sonatas BuxWV 255 and 261). The recordingRead more assembles leading specialists of this repertory, with the expert voices of Vox Luminis combining with the vitality of the instrumentalists of Ensemble Masques.
They mix cantatas and trio sonatas with a judicious flair. Nothing is over-stated or under-nurtured; and Meunier always finds a deeply human dimension to Buxtehude’s piety that taps into the bürgerlich bonhomie of the sonatas. Rich, lively, and truthful, the recorded sound consummates a seductively considered disc that pretty much never puts a foot wrong. Hanseatic heaven!
– BBC Music Magazine
This is music of expressive variety and flexibility, ideally suited to the skills of Vox Luminis, whose name on a release these days is enough in itself to spark a tingle of anticipation. They do not disappoint, charting the emotional contours of Buxtehude’s music with exquisite understanding and demonstrating their now familiar deep but lucid choral blend, out of which expertly executed solos emerge and return.