Dietrich Buxtehude began his activity at St. Mary’s Church exactly 350 years ago, and the City of Lübeck fittingly commemorated this anniversary by awarding this year’s renowned Buxtehude Prize to Harald Vogel. Matched by no other musician, Vogel has distinguished himself both in historical organ playing in general and with Buxtehude’s oeuvre in particular. To celebrate this occasion, MDG is now releasing a highly interesting new edition containing all of Buxtehude’s works from the Codex E. B. of 1688 and including – as a surprising rarity – the recording premiere of a sonata with obbligato gamba. The specialist Thomas Fritzsch proves to be a virtuosic and tonally sensitive duo partner for Vogel.
Moreover, this CD offers valuable documentation of significant instrumental resources. More than a hundred original stops from Buxtehude’s times are employed, and the organs from Torrlösa, Helsingør, and Lübeck’s Church of St. James – places where the composer himself was active – are now being heard together for the first time ever on CD. This circumstance harmonizes very well with the Codex works, which were performed as liturgical music during religious services, “sub communione,” during the Lord’s Supper.
Since 1986 Harald Vogel has covered a sensational sound panorama with his recordings of Buxtehude’s extensive organ oeuvre. Historical, lavishly restored instruments in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden are heard in what is a previously unprecedented collection of “Northern German” organ sound! For his new CD Harald Vogel not only selected some works from this compendium but also this very year freshly recorded others on the Arp Schnitger organ in St. Ludger’s Church in Norden on the basis of current editorial findings. The true master never ceases to learn new things!
The loving descriptions of the instruments, Vogel’s profoundly articulated knowledge of music and performance practice, and not least the detailed information about the registrations used make our complete recording of Buxtehude’s organ oeuvre as absolute “must-have” for every organ enthusiast’s personal collection. And this new CD is no exception: these organ treasures have been recorded in MDG’s now legendary natural sound – for direct and genuine listening pleasure at home.