Artist: Vox Luminis, Lionel Meunier, Ensemble Masques & Olivier Fortin
Title: Buxtehude: Abendmusiken
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2018
Duration: 01:25:00
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Alpha

The Abendmusiken were a legendary concert series organised by Buxtehude in Lbeck. Even Johann Sebastian Bach travelled a long way to attend these concerts of sacred and instrumental music and met the master Dietrich Buxtehude, the most famous organist in Europe. To mark the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, Vox Luminis and the Ensemble Masques have come together to perform a programme of cantatas (Gott hilf mir, denn das Wasser geht mir bis an die Seele, BuxWV 34 | Befiehl dem Engel, dass er komm, BuxWV 10 | Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60 | Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr, BuxWV 41) and instrumental pieces (Sonatas BuxWV 255 and 261). The recording assembles leading specialists of this repertory, with the expert voices of Vox Luminis combining with the vitality of the instrumentalists of Ensemble Masques.

In 1668, Dietrich Buxtehude, then thirty one years old, took up the very sought-after tenure of organist at the Marienkirche in Lbeck, then a Hanseatic metropolis of considerable relevance; the organist had at that time one of the most desirable social statuses. He soon caused a sensation with the church concerts he held outside of religious services and that happened every year, in the early evening, on the five Sundays preceding Christmas. During these “Abendmusiken” (vespertine music), as they were called, were sometimes performed great works falling withing the oratorio genre, but more often was performed a mix of instrumental pieces, church tunes, psalm arrangements and cantata-like works. From the 1700s, these series of concerts had become a major cultural event of the city. Released from the daily handling of religious music handled by the Marienkirche’s Cantor—as was often the case at the time in North Germany—, Buxtehude only composed works on his own initiative, which allowed him to give them a quality level noticeably higher than that of the Cantor, for example, forced to compose non-stop, from one Sunday to another. The cantatas recorded here demonstrate the high artistic ambitions of these vocal works: they often digress from stylistic and generic conventions of their time and answer the tasks imposed by the texts with bold musical solutions, daring and absolutely splendid. The sonatas from Buxtehude completing the vocal program of this disc are also characterized by their markedly experimental character. Olivier Fortin’s Masques Ensemble—recorder, strings, positive organ—and Lionel Meunier’s Vox Luminis join forces to offer us these gems from the turn of the North German 18th century, such gems that the young Bach didn’t hesitate, in 1705, to travel on foot from Arnstadt—a 100-league trip—to come listen to Buxtehude, his organ play and probably his famous Abendmusiken.

Tracklist:

  1. Gott hilf mir, denn das Wasser geht mir bis an die Seele, BuxWV 34: I. Sonata – 1:46
  2. Gott hilf mir, denn das Wasser geht mir bis an die Seele, BuxWV 34: II. Gott hilf Mir – 3:21
  3. Gott hilf mir, denn das Wasser geht mir bis an die Seele, BuxWV 34: III. Fürchte dich Nicht! – 1:21
  4. Gott hilf mir, denn das Wasser geht mir bis an die Seele, BuxWV 34: IV. Israel hoffe auf den Herren! / Wer hofft in Gott und dem Vertraut – 2:53
  5. Gott hilf mir, denn das Wasser geht mir bis an die Seele, BuxWV 34: V. Ach ja, mein Gott – 4:25
  6. Gott hilf mir, denn das Wasser geht mir bis an die Seele, BuxWV 34: VI. Israel hoffe auf den Herren – 2:51
  7. Trio Sonata in A Minor, BuxWV 272 – 8:00
  8. Befiehl dem Engel, dass er komm’ in A Minor, BuxWV 10 – 5:43
  9. Jesu, meine Freude in E Minor, BuxWV 60: I. Sonata – 2:22
  10. Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60: II. Jesu, meine Freude – 1:39
  11. Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60: III. Unter deinem Schirmen – 1:30
  12. Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60: IV. Trotz dem alten Drachen – 1:39
  13. Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60: V. Weg mit allen Schätzen – 1:31
  14. Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60: VI. Gute Nacht, ihr Sünden – 2:03
  15. Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60: VII. Weicht, ihr Trauergeister – 1:19
  16. Trio Sonata in B-Flat Major, BuxWV 255 – 8:27
  17. Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich dich, O Herr, BuxWV 41: I. Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich Dich – 4:12
  18. Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich dich, O Herr, BuxWV 41: II. Es ist ja, Herr – 8:17
  19. Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich dich, O Herr, BuxWV 41: III. Ach Herr, lass dein’ Lieb’ Engelein – 6:51
  20. Trio Sonata in D Major, BuxWV 267 – 8:18
  21. Jesu, meines Lebens Leben in D Minor, BuxWV 62: I. Sinfonia – 0:47
  22. Jesu, meines Lebens Leben in D Minor, BuxWV 62: II. Ciaconna – 5:57

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