His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services. He composed in a wide variety of vocal and instrumental idioms, and his style strongly influenced many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach , his student. Today, Buxtehude is considered one of the most important composers in Germany of the mid-Baroque. He is thought to have been born with the name Diderich Buxtehude. His father originated from Oldesloe in the Duchy of Holstein , which at that time was a part of the Danish realms in Northern Germany. His father — Johannes Buxtehude — was the organist at St.
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Michael Belotti has done this for a small but extremely important segment of the oeuvre of Dieterich Buxtehude: his free organ works, numbered through and in the Buxtehude-Werke-Verzeichnis. I have not seen the second edition, which appeared in As its complete title suggests, Belotti places his main emphasis on the transmission history of these works Part 1, pp. His critical studies of style Part 2, pp. These form the corpus of volumes I and II of the combined Spitta-Seiffert edition, issued in with an introduction by Walter Kraft and circulating widely in reprints by Kalmus and Dover.
Joseph Hedar discussed them all in his dissertation; for his complete edition he took the ten Lund manuscripts as his principal source, but for those works not found in Lund he continued to rely on Spitta and Seiffert.
Beckmann lists this manuscript with his siglum E 1 as the progenitor of a source family separate from B his D 1. Belotti took on this task, together with preparing his edition of the free pedaliter works for the Collected Works.
Hans-Joachim Schulze had examined this manuscript earlier and identified Johann Christian Bach as the principal scribe and the young Johann Sebastian Bach as a possible second copyist, and dated it about The recovery of a manuscript now PL-Kj that had once belonged to the Hamburg organist Heinrich Schmahl is significant because, with its date of , it is the oldest tablature source for a keyboard work of Buxtehude the Praeludium in A major, BuxWV Belotti convincingly illuminates the problems in the transmission of this work pp.
He demonstrates that Agricola copied the central portion of this manuscript directly from B , copying just its pedaliter pieces in the same order while introducing his own corrections, including using red ink for the pedal part in his two-stave score. Belotti offers a new stemma Figure 2 to illustrate this relationship, which departs from that of Spitta and, implicitly, Beckmann.
Concordances in the newly discovered Pittsburgh sources help to illuminate the kinds of corrections that Agricola made. He advances the hypothesis p. No new sources came to light during this period, so changes to Part 1 are minimal. The body of the third edition comprises only ten more pages, so a good portion of its enlargement comes in the bibliography and an added and welcome index. In the section on instrumental designation we read a most interesting insertion:.
Teaching and practice took place not on the church organ but on the instrument in the home of the organist. As a rule this was a pedal clavichord. Esaias Hasse, the successor to Hans Buxtehude at St. Through a study of the account books of the Marienkirche now once again complete after a lengthy absence , Ibo Ortgies has come to the conclusion that the tuning work of the year was by no means abnormally long and a change in the temperament was unlikely. So this year should not be seen as a strict boundary in the discussion of chronology.
Nicolai in Hamburg p. Since two of these studies appeared in forms that are not normally reviewed, I would like to take the opportunity to do so here, however briefly. Although this book is devoted primarily to the use of such instruments in the eighteenth century, Speerstra gives historical references to pedal clavichords from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries pp. During his dissertation research Ibo Ortgies examined all of them and found many later tunings that were even longer; they are summarized in Table 10, p.
To the best of our knowledge, the organs at St. The function of composed organ music in the highly professional realm lay by no means primarily in its performance but in its study for the development of the ability to improvise contrapuntally. The science of composition created in its written-out works the necessary examples for the art of improvisation by professional organists.
To the extent that individual compositions were not playable on the organ, they could be tried out on pedal clavichords and harpsichords. Such instruments could offer keyboard compasses that were not available on most organs, and stringed keyboard instruments were more flexible in their temperaments. In the latter category he considers the costs of tuition, the content and duration of study, fees charged for the copying of music, and references to the use of the pedal clavichord in teaching, all extremely valuable information.
For what purpose did Buxtehude compose these works: for the liturgy? Given the fact that the organist performed his liturgical duties chiefly through improvisation, why did he write them down on paper? Not exclusively for teaching, says Belotti p. Belotti favors the harpsichord for many of them, but, as noted above, the clavichord makes its appearance in this third edition. He finds a wide variety of ways in which Buxtehude used the pedal, including motion much slower than that of the hands, short interjections, motivic dialogue with the hands, fugal subjects that are particularly idiomatic to the pedal, pedal solos, and double-pedal technique, which is found in only three of his works BuxWV , , In the Collected Works it appears in an Appendix 15B, —57 rather than with the main corpus of works volume 15A.
In any event, Belotti ultimately accepts the work as authentic. These present as thorny a problem for the performance of many Buxtehude keyboard works as does mean-tone tuning, because both organs at St. Interestingly, the organ at St. His chronological conclusions stemming from it, however, did not change at all.
So to date all the works in B thirty years before its copying seems a bit risky. Nearly every scholar who has dealt with this group of works, myself included, has tried to arrange them into a chronological order, but this goal remains as elusive as ever. But is this assumption valid? Buxtehude undoubtedly committed his compositions to paper in the comfort of his own home and used them as models for his teaching of improvisation and composition.
I cannot imagine that this master of improvisation would then take that piece of paper to the organ loft with him to perform directly from it. But neither can I imagine that he never played these magnificent works, or something very much like them, on the organs of St. Once a composition was mapped out in his head, he could easily have adapted it to the limitations of the instrument that he was playing.
The only contract we have for the large organ states unequivocally that it was tuned to equal temperament in I do not wish to imply that the tuning of the organs at St. The only marker for pure mean tone, short of some document describing the precise tuning of the organ, would have been the presence of subsemitones. Belotti has now corrected and expanded his original dissertation twice, but it remains a dissertation.
Snyder kerala. She has written extensively on the life and music of Dieterich Buxtehude and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of this Journal. Clara Bell and J. Klaus Beckmann, vol. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, , — Calvisius, , The second edition appeared in , not , as Belotti states on p. Und Zur Funktion norddeutscher Orgelkompositionen des Bach , 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, — Dacapo CD 8.
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Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWV 161
It is generally acknowledged as one of his most important works, and was possibly an influence on Bach 's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor BWV , as well as Brahms ' music. Buxtehude's passacaglia only survives in a single source: the so-called Andreas Bach Buch, compiled by Johann Sebastian's eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach — No information on the date of composition survives. Buxtehude scholar Michael Belotti suggested that all three ostinato works were composed after There are four sections, exploring a total of three keys. The first section is in D minor the tonic , the second in F major the relative major , the third in A minor the dominant , and the fourth returns to D minor. The sections are connected by short modulatory passages.
Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music
Buxtehude Organ Music Broude