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Buxtehude: Organ Works / Marie-Claire Alain

Buxtehude / Alain,Marie-claire
Release Date: 04/30/2013 
Label:  Apex   Catalog #: 51790   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 24 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



BUXTEHUDE Preludes, BuxWV 137, 139, 140, 142, 145, 146, 149, 153. Chorales, BuxWV 178, 182, 183, 197, 199, 207, 211, 223. Fugue in C, BuxWV 174. Passacaglia in d, BuxWV 161. Chaconnes: in e, BuxWV 160; in c, BuxWV 159. Canzonetta in G, BuxWV 171. Read more class="ARIAL12bi">Magnificat Primi Toni, BuxWV 203. Toccatas: in d, BuxWV 155; in f, BuxWV 156. Te Deum laudamus, BuxWV 218 Marie-Claire Alain (org) APEX 2564651790 (2 CDs: 144:09)


This is a budget-priced reissue of Alain’s Buxtehude recordings of 1986, presented here with zero liner notes. Once again, one cannot escape the feeling that this issue is for the “download generation” and that Apex, a division of Erato (which is now part of Warner Classics) doesn’t give a fig about hard-disc purchasers. Oh sure, I can imagine a ton of high school kids downloading Buxtehude organ works by Marie-Clair Alain. It happens every study hall break.


As for the performances, I was able to compare a fairly large portion of them to the superb 2010 SACD album by Masaaki Suzuki (BIS 1809). The first thing that strikes the listener is that Suzuki is faster, sometimes considerably so, in nearly every piece of music. Here are a few pertinent examples:


Alain Suzuki
Toccata in F 7:38 6:43
Prelude in a 6:18 5:32
Te Deum laudamus 14:18 11:40
Magnificat Primi Toni 7:48 7:29




Moreover, the difference is not merely one of speed but also of articulation. Alain almost always, given the choice, prefers “binding” the notes together, sometimes even sustaining one note before the next one is struck on the keys. The phrasing is more legato and to a certain extent “slurred.” It is not quite a romantic style of baroque music, but in a sense it is even less crisp in rhythm and articulation than the playing of Virgil Fox (I speak here of general style, since I have no recordings of Fox playing Buxtehude, which I’m not sure he ever put on disc anyway). Suzuki is consistently lighter, crisper, more enlivening in rhythmic impetus, and interesting in his approach to each piece.


And yet, there is something positive to say about Alain’s approach, and it is this: Unlike Bach, whose music was almost always meant to be played in fairly strict time, Buxtehude’s music is rife with tempo fluctuations and Luftpausen, not only in his organ music but also in his harpsichord music, and in this important stylistic trait it is Alain who understands this better than Suzuki. She plays this music with a slightly irregular pulse which is the heart of Buxtehude’s style while Suzuki surges ahead in phrase after phrase. Is one right and the other wrong? Not really, because each of these two organists goes slightly against the proper style in different ways. Which do I prefer? That’s difficult to say. In certain pieces, such as the Toccata in F, I liked Suzuki better, while in others, such as the wildly imaginative Te Deum laudamus , I felt that Alain came closer to the mark.


Thus I found myself becoming more ambivalent about making a clear-cut decision the more I compared them, but in the end I became more captivated by Alain’s discursive approach. And of course, the instrument used also has an impact on the sound as well as the performance style. I seem to recall (researching the Internet yielded nothing of help) that Alain generally played more modern and/or updated organs, at least until the 1990s when she started rerecording Bach on earlier instruments, while Suzuki plays two early organs on his disc, the Klapmeyer organ (built in 1649, revised in 1699 and 1730) of Altenbruch and the Wilde-Schnitger organ (built by Wilde in 1598, rebuilt by Schnitger in 1682, reconstructed in 1982) in Lüdingworth. But, as I say, Alain wasn’t considered one of the greatest organists of the 20th century for no reason. If you already own the Suzuki disc you may not wish to acquire this set, but if you don’t, I give Alain a slight edge over Suzuki for the musical reasons noted above. In addition, this two-CD budget reissue is selling for less than the single BIS disc.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Praeludium for Keyboard in G minor, BuxWV 149 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1690; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 6 Minutes 52 Secs. 
2.
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BuxWV 223 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 6 Minutes 10 Secs. 
3.
Prelude and Fugue for Organ in F sharp minor, BuxWV 146 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 7 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4.
In dulci jubilo, BuxWV 197 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
5.
Prelude and Fugue for Organ in D major, BuxWV 139 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
6.
Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, BuxWV 211 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
7.
Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne for Organ in C major, BuxWV 137 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BuxWV 183 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
9.
Praeludium for Keyboard in D minor, BuxWV 140 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1690; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 5 Minutes 43 Secs. 
10.
Komm heiliger Geist, Herre Gott, BuxWV 199 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 3 Minutes 55 Secs. 
11.
Praeludium for Keyboard in E minor, BuxWV 142 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1690; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 8 Minutes 22 Secs. 
12.
Ach Herr, mich armer Sünder, BuxWV 178 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
13.
Praeludium for Keyboard in F major, BuxWV 145 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1690 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 6 Minutes 10 Secs. 
14.
Prelude and Fugue for Organ in A minor, BuxWV 153 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 6 Minutes 17 Secs. 
15.
Fugue for Organ in C major, BuxWV 174 "Gigue" by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
16.
Passacaglia for Organ in D minor, BuxWV 161 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 5 Minutes 48 Secs. 
17.
Ciacona for Organ in E minor, BuxWV 160 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
18.
Ciacona for Organ in C minor, BuxWV 159 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 6 Minutes 6 Secs. 
19.
Canzonetta for Organ in G major, BuxWV 171 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
20.
Magnificat Primi Toni for organ, BuxWV 203 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1690; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
21.
Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BuxWV 182 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
22.
Toccata and Fugue for Organ in D minor, BuxWV 155 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1684; Lübeck, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 6 Minutes 58 Secs. 
23.
Te Deum laudamus, BuxWV 218 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 14 Minutes 17 Secs. 
24.
Toccata and Fugue for Organ in F major, BuxWV 156 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 7 Minutes 37 Secs. 
25.
Nimm von uns, Herr du treuer Gott, BuxWV 207 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/30/1986 
Venue:  Groningen 
Length: 8 Minutes 4 Secs. 

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