Notes and Editorial Reviews
By the end of his life, the fame of Dietrich Buxtehude as an organist was so great that in 1706 the young J.S. Bach took four weeks’ leave from his employment at Arnstadt and travelled on foot over 200 miles to Lübeck to hear him perform in concert. Ironically, the meteoric rise of the career of Bach himself as a composer meant that, until very recently, Buxtehude was primarily known simply as a forerunner to the great man, when in fact he was a major composer in his own right.
These Trio Sonatas for violin, viola da gamba, and harpsichord are remarkable examples of Buxtehude’s beautiful chamber music, and anyone expecting them to follow a set of pre-established procedures will be surprised. Inventive and full of life,
each of the sonatas is different from the others, ranging from dance-like pieces and little fugues to variation sets with some dynamic duets between the violin and viola da gamba, and slow, airy pieces too.
The recording complements CHAN0766 (Trio Sonatas, Op. 1) of which Early Music Today wrote: ‘The Purcell Quartet brings its customary virtues to these perceptive period-instrument interpretations: incisiveness, tonal transparency and excellent rapport and blend.
All four musicians reveal their experience and expertise as interpreters, particularly of this kind of German repertoire, which they have been championing for some time now. They pace the music's stops and starts perfectly.
These are as always period instrument performances by the Purcells, and their customary professionalism should appeal to most ears. However, there is a certain amount of almost regal restraint in their playing that makes Buxtehude sound more like Purcell. This is no bad thing but it’s not entirely Buxtehude, whose quirky fertility may benefit from a more unbuttoned treatment.
– MusicWeb International Read less
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