I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Buxtehude Opus 2

#alttext# I wrote back in May about getting a new Buxtehude recording from Linn at high resolution. It features the chamber group L'Estravagante performing Buxtehude's opus 2 sonatas. These are trio sonatas for viola da gamba, violin, and harpsichord. These are multiple movement works, but each unique. They follow the patterns of larger ensemble music by Biber, and in some cases, follow a phantasticus style, too. Buxtehude of Lubeck's music likewise has an affinity in style that's not terribly foreign to the chamber string music by Johann Pachelbel of Nuremberg. The recording comes with great booklet notes—and this is unusual perhaps for purchasing recordings online—I enjoyed getting the notes in PDF format from Linn. The only gripe is that the PDF is formatted for printing professionally, instead of for the end user. A quick edit and trim in Adobe Acrobat would have made a nice touch. The performers, as advertised, are able players, probably the violinist Montanari the most famous of the trio. In some movements, Buxtehude has you tapping your toe. Those regular eighth notes with regular 16ths on top are hard to keep pumping, but they do keep the toe tapping. Rodney Prada on gamba isn't the most emotional of players, which might have helped the ensemble through the slower sections. Buxtehude reveals himself to be a lesser composer in these slower movements than, say, Biber or Schmelzer. But the performers here, despite an excellent recorded sound, might have contributed something to these sections with deeper emotional impact. The harmonies are there, but what's missing are those arresting turns of line. The simplicity on paper is a canvas for the extraordinary at times. What remains is as well played collection of music, but it's music that lacks the top spot from the era, not to mention the composer's own opus. Ideal for collectors of the complete music of Buxtehude, or examples of north German mid-Baroque string music.


Bach on the Flute