Harpsichord Works, Vol. 1

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Buxtehude: Harpsichord Works, Vol. 1

Dietrich Buxtehude (ca. 1637-1707) was a Danish-born organist and composer of the German Baroque; he was organist at St. Mary's Church in Lübeck most of his life. Although known today mostly for his organ and vocal works, he produced a large number of pieces for the harpsichord, as well as a few chamber sonatas. Regarded at one time as mostly an "influence" on later composers, including Bach, Handel, and Telemann, Buxtehude has risen steadily in modern estimation and is now considered the most important German composer between Schütz and Bach. One of the most famous incidents in Baroque music history was Bach's 200-mile journey on foot to hear the elderly Buxtehude play the organ. Bach was entranced and overstayed his trip. Buxtehude was so touched he offered Bach his organ job--but a condition included marriage to his eldest daughter, and Bach diplomatically declined. This 2XCD set inaugurates an exciting edition on Challenge Classics of the complete works of Buxtehude performed by Ton Koopman and colleagues. Since many of Buxtehude's works, including all his oratorios, have been lost, this edition fills a particular historical urgency to keep his surviving legacy alive. This first volume focuses exclusively on the composer's harpsichord works, performed on two instruments built by Willem Kroesbergen after historical models. Dutch harpsichordist, organist, conductor, and scholar Ton Koopman is universally acknowledged as one of today's pre-eminent Early Music performers, sitting very near the top of an impossibly crowded field. Ton Koopman's extensive activities as a soloist and conductor have been recorded on a large number of LPs and CDs for labels including Erato, Teldec, Philips, and Deutsche Grammophon. In 1979 he founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, a group of musicians from all over the world with a particular passion for the Baroque, whose recordings have won numerous awards. Buxtehude's music is catalogued using Georg Karst

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