Nicolaus Bruhns

Biography

Born: 1665; Schwabstedt, Germany   Died: March 29, 1697; Husum, Germany  
Although he had a short life and wrote very little music that survives, Nicolaus Bruhns is considered important in the development of North German Baroque music for bringing a new virtuosity to his vocal writing.

The Bruhns family was among the musical dynasties that one encounters all over the history of German music in the 1600s. The Bruhns lived in northern Germany and southern Denmark. Paul Bruhns (d. 1655) was a lutenist who had
Read more three musical sons, of whom the middle, also named Paul, was Nicolaus' father. Paul the Younger got a musical job in Schwabstedt by marrying the daughter of the town organist there and inherited it. (This was a common practice in the area at the time.)

When Nicolaus showed uncommon musical talent at an early age, Paul sent him to live with Paul's younger brother, Peter, in Lübeck, a town with a livelier musical life and, hence, better teachers. Primary among them was the great organist Dietrich Buxtehude, who considered Nicolaus his best pupil. Nicolaus also studied violin with his uncle Peter.

As a young musician, Nicolaus got work early in his career thanks to Buxtehude's glowing letter of recommendation. He worked for several years at Copenhagen as a virtuoso violinist and composer. This gave Bruhns a chance to get to know Italian musicians, popular with the citizens at the time, and their music, which included a virtuoso element not common in German music at the time.

He auditioned for the open post of organist of the Stadtkirche of Husum on March 29, 1689. The city council hired him right away, remarking that "since never before has the city heard his like in composition and performance on all manner of instruments." He was a hit from the start. The city fathers of the larger city of Kiel heard him play and tried to lure him away with more money. Husum, a nice and thriving town, knew what a treasure it had, and, as such, approved a special increase in the salary for his position (taking care to note that it was a special case, for Bruhns alone). Bruhns stayed there until his death in 1697.

None of his chamber music has survived, which is especially unfortunate since witnesses make reference to his use of innovative double stops to make it sound like there are more instruments playing than was actually the case. He was known for playing two or three solo lines simultaneously on the violin while playing the bass line on organ pedals. Bruhns' four preludes and fugues are obviously influenced by Buxtehude. After a brilliant opening prelude, the fugues are also inventive in their use of echo effects. His toccatas are technically brilliant and have especially inventive pedal passages. His sacred concertos for chorus have the virtuosity of Italian instrumental concertos. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 65 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Bruhns: Complete Organ Music / Adriano Falcioni
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94447 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Heinrich Scheidemann,  Samuel Scheidt  ... 
    Performer:  Adriano Falcioni
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  • 2.
    Organ Recital - Bruhns,  Radulescu, Grigny,  Bach / Mari Fukumoto
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 573155 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Michael Radulescu,  Nicholas de Grigny,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Mari Fukumoto
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  • 3.
    Bruhns, Hasse: Organ Works / Manuel Tomadin
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 7685 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Nicolaus Hasse
    Performer:  Manuel Tomadin
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  • 4.
    Orgelkonzert, Vol. 2
    Label: Querstand   Catalog: 1309 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Ludwig Krebs,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Nicolaus Bruhns  ... 
    Performer:  Matthias Suss
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  • 5.
    Music of Old Cities & Royal Courts
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 283312 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gregor Joseph Werner,  Frederick the Great  ... 
    Performer:  Tivadar Bantay,  Christa Richter-Steiner,  Theo Altmeyer,  Lisa Otto  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernhard Paumgartner,  Karl Forster,  Wolfgang Meyer,  Hans von Benda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica,  Baryton Trio,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Organo Plano
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 944 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Conrad Susa,  Jean-Adam Guilain,  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Eugene Gigout  ... 
    Performer:  Scott Montgomery
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  • 7.
    Organum Antiquum: Fruheste Orgelmusik Bis J. S. Bach
    Label: Syrius   Catalog: 141459 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Robertsbridge Anonymous,  Hugh Aston,  Hans Neusidler  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Schauerte
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  • 8.
    Recital In York Springs
    Label: Loft Recordings   Catalog: 1123 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Adam Reincken,  Melchior Schildt,  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck  ... 
    Performer:  Riyehee Hong
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  • 9.
    Mein Herz Ist Bereit / Gotthold Schwarz, Hauke Ramm
    Label: Rondeau Productions   Catalog: 6059 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Georg Böhm,  Franz Tunder  ... 
    Performer:  Hauke Ramm,  Gotthold Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saxon Baroque Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4789 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Antonio Soler,  Henri Mulet  ... 
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  • 11.
    Confluence
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 937 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck,  Charles-Marie Widor,  Nicolaus Bruhns  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Raedeke
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  • 12.
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau Sings Baroque Arias
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94218 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Tunder,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Nicolaus Bruhns  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
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  • 13.
    Sacred Arias / Dorothee Mields, Concerto Melante
    Label: Dhm Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 7901812 Release Date: 05/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph Bernhard,  Johann Pachelbel,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Franz Tunder  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothee Mields
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Melante
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  • 14.
    Label: Paladino Music   Catalog: 15 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Vincent Lübeck,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  James Tibbles
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  • 15.
    Bruhns: Deutsche Kantaten / Junghanel, Cantus Colln
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1951752 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicolaus Bruhns
    Conductor:  Konrad Junghänel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantus Cölln
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  • 16.
    Mein Herz Ist Bereit / Peter Kooij, Cordarte
    Label: Pan Classics   Catalog: 10211 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Tunder,  Johann Heinrich Schmelzer,  Johann Rosenmüller,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Kooy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cordearte
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  • 17.
    Maxine Thevenot Plays The Hellmuth Wolff Organ
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 929 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Johann Kaspar Kerll,  Ruth Watson Henderson,  Nicolaus Bruhns  ... 
    Performer:  Maxine Thévenot
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  • 18.
    Stylus Phantasticus - Bruhns, Mons, Sweelinck, Et Al / Gnann
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 20012 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Georg Böhm,  Dietrich Buxtehude  ... 
    Performer:  Gerhard Gnann
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  • 19.
    Jauchzet dem Herren - Psaumes de David au XVIIe Siecle en Allemagne du Nord / La Fenice
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 179 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Samuel Scheidt,  Johann Philipp Förtsch,  Julius Johann Weiland  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Jörg Mammel
    Conductor:  Jean Tubery
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
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  • 20.
    Bach: Solo Cantatas / Scholl, Kooy, Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale Gent
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 5908372 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Tunder,  Johann Kuhnau,  Nicolaus Bruhns  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Scholl,  Peter Kooy,  Daniel Taylor,  Gerhard Hölzle  ... 
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium Vocale Orchestra,  La Chapelle Royale Chorus Paris,  Ghent Collegium Vocale
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  • 21.
    Organs In Alblasserwaard, Vol. 2
    Label: D.e. Versluis   Catalog: 1015 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Alexandre Guilmant,  Louis Vierne,  Johann Gottfried Walther,  Christian Reichardt  ... 
    Performer:  Jan van Wingerden,  Arie Verhaar,  Bart Bloom,  Pieter Klerk  ... 
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  • 22.
    Die Norddeutsche Orgelkunst, Vol. 1: Lubeck
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 3201624 Release Date: 10/05/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Franz Tunder,  Peter Hasse,  Dietrich Buxtehude  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Rost
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  • 23.
    Garrels-orgel Marekerk Leiden
    Label: D.e. Versluis   Catalog: 18 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Johann Adam Reincken,  Pablo Bruna  ... 
    Performer:  Henk Gijzen
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  • 24.
    Historic Organs Of Seattle: A Young Yet Vibrant History
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 8 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Craig Phillips,  Anonymous,  Georg Böhm,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Craig Phillips,  Sharon Porter Shull,  Derek Nickels,  Christopher Marks  ... 
    Conductor:  Tom Foster
    On sale! $51.98
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  • 25.
    Nicolaus Bruhns: Das Kantatenwerk
    Label: Ricercar   Catalog: 291 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Ludwig Busbetzky
    Performer:  Max van Egmond,  Guy de Mey,  Greta de Reyghère,  James Bowman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
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