Buxtehude Prelude/Fugue/Chaconne in C major (organ) BuxWV137

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Buxtehude Prelude/Fugue/Chaconne in C major (organ) BuxWV137

Postby MindenBlues » Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:37 am

Yesterday I got the possibility to record that piece in our main church. There is a slip here and there, hopefully not too distracting.

That prelude is a typical piece of the so-called "stylus phantasticus" form.
The prelude itself starts with pedal solo, followed by a fugue and a chaconne at the end (manual variations over a 3 bar pedal theme). I did not add any artifical reverb, since there is already enough church reverb. Hope you enjoy a bit.

For those who are interested in the disposition of this new organ, here it is:

Buxtehude - BuxWV137, Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne

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Postby robert » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:05 am

Very good playing and a most impressive organ!!! Must feel great to play and be in control of this giant instrument. I cannot consider myself familiar with Buxtehude but from what I have read but this combined prelude, Fugue and Chaconne sounds well executed in my ears.

I added the prelude genre on the site and added some informational text about Buxtehudes preludes (which includes a lot more than just preludes).

"The 19 organ preludes form the core of Buxtehude's work and are ultimately considered his most important contributions to music literature of the 17th century. They are sectional compositions that alternate between free improvisatory sections and strict contrapuntal parts, usually either fugues or pieces written in fugal manner; all make heavy use of pedal and are idiomatic to the organ. These preludes, together with pieces by Nikolaus Bruhns, represent the highest point in the evolution of the north German organ prelude, and the so-called stylus phantasticus. They were undoubtedly among the strongest influences of JS Bach, whose organ preludes, toccatas and fugues frequently employ similar techniques.

The preludes are quite varied in style and structure, and therefore hard to categorize. Structure-wise, there usually is an introductory section, a fugue and a postlude, but this basic scheme is very frequently expanded. Both BuxWV 137 and BuxWV 148 include a full-fledged chaconne along with fugal and toccata-like writing in other sections, BuxWV 141 includes two fugues, sections of imitative counterpoint and parts with chordal writing. A few pieces are smaller in scope as for example, BuxWV 144, which consists only of a brief improvisatory prelude followed by a longer fugue. The sections may be explicitly separated in the score or flow one into another, one ending and another beginning in the same bar. The texture is almost always at least three-voice, with many instances of four-voice polyphony and occasional sections in five voices."

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Postby MindenBlues » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:35 am

Thank you Robert, for listening and for the informations about the preludes!

Yes, it is a great feel to play on such an organ with much ranks. It has an electronic setting possibility to program which registers should be drawn. So through the piece, one can press the next button with a feet or finger to come to the next presetting. Nethertheless one needs to concentrate - I used all three manuals, needed to turn the pages myself and pushed the preset buttons every new section. For the very last chord I could not resist and pushed the "tutti" button - that means, ALL registers and all couplers were drawn - an hour with that and one gets deaf ...

For me, this "stylus phantasticus" can be found also in the well-known Bach toccata&fugue d minor (whoms authorship is doubtful). I think Buxtehude deserves much more attention, because some of the preludes sound really great. This year is a special Buxtehude year, because he died 300 years ago, maybe that helps to raise his popularity - some complete editions of his works are planned or released now.

The Link above does not work (there is an additional /sheet directoy in the link), so the following link should work:
http://server3.pianosociety.com/protect ... chmidt.mp3

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Postby DemhaOdnanref » Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:14 pm

This is excellent. Well done. Sorry to bump an old thread.

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Postby John Robson » Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:58 pm

Thanks, Olaf. What a gorgeous sound! I actually know nothing of the organ, but this is the organ sound I enjoy most of all. It makes me feel I'm in a German cathedral. I can't offer any suggestions except "Keep on keepin' on."

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