Buxtehude: Eine Lübecker Abendmusik / Roland Wilson, Et Al

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BUXTEHUDE Benedicam Dominum. Gott hilf mir. Wie wird erneuet. Wo soll ich fliehen hin? Mein Gemüt erfreuet sich. Herr ich lasse dich nicht. Ihr lieben Christen Roland Wilson, cond; La Capella Ducale; Cologne Musica Fiata cpo 777318 (78:18 Text and Translation)

This collection of unfamiliar cantatas of Dietrich Buxtehude includes two first recordings, Benedicam Dominum and Wo soll ich fliehen hin? ; the program concludes with the most familiar one of the group, recorded five times before. (With reference to first recordings, colleague Brian Robins in 30:6 overlooked previous recordings of BuxWV 82 on Vox, Hungaroton, and Ricercar, and of BuxWV 25 on Metronome, neither included here.) If the familiar Ihr lieben Christen concludes the program, the first recording of the stunning Benedicam Dominum opens it. Perhaps it has been neglected because of the required forces, six choirs to be placed in the six balconies of the Lübeck church. The text from Psalm 33 (34) lends itself to a festive treatment using trumpets and drums, and the composer takes full advantage of the sonorities of the various instruments. This is a real addition to the composer’s discography, and it’s worth noting that two other recordings of the piece were made at almost the same time, the sort of thing that happens in an anniversary year such as this.

Gott hilf mir , on a German text from Psalm 68 (69), is superior to older recordings under Günter Graulich and Martha Johnson, while Wie wird erneuet , a non-Scriptural poem, can be heard in Ton Koopman’s three-disc box (11:4). Wo soll ich fliehen hin? is the other first recording, a poetic text in the same style as the previous piece. Mein Gemüt erfreuet sich is also in Koopman’s box, and Herr ich lasse dich nicht has been recorded with Helmut Rilling’s group and the Ricercar Consort. Among those who have given us the concluding work, Koopman stands out for the boxed set.

The comparison of three of these performances with those duplicated by Koopman is instructive. Wie wird erneuet is more brilliant, more jubilant here than Koopman rendered it, his trumpets more restrained, his singers more subdued. Mein Gemüt erfreuet sich is a similar expression of rejoicing that Wilson, with a more forceful bass soloist, captures more effectively than Koopman. Ihr lieben Christen , like the other two duplicated here, uses the verb “rejoice” with trumpets and trombones in the first line, but Koopman again finds less to rejoice about, and he is slower in all three of these works. Wilson’s superiority in these works makes me eager to hear his new Das jüngste Gericht on Sony, not issued over here yet but a work that contrasts in mood with these pieces. This generous collection is well worth hearing, a splendid contribution to the anniversary.

FANFARE: J. F. Weber

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 777318-2

  • UPC: 761203731824

  • Label: CPO

  • Composer: Dietrich Buxtehude

  • Conductor: Roland Wilson

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Musica Fiata, La Capella Ducale