1. Bruhns: Cantatas and Organ Works, Vol.1 / Suzuki, Yale Institute of Sacred Music - ArkivMusic

Bruhns: Cantatas and Organ Works, Vol.1 / Suzuki, Yale Institute of Sacred Music

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When he died, Nicolaus Bruhns was just 31 years old, and only twelve of his vocal works and five organ compositions have survived. On the strength of these, he is nevertheless considered one of the most prominent North German composers of the generation between Buxtehude and Bach.

Buxtehude was in fact Bruhns's teacher, and thought so highly of him that he recommended him for a position in Copenhagen. There he worked as a violin virtuoso and composer until 1689, when he returned to Northern Germany to become organist in the main church of Husum. It was here that most if not all of the extant works were performed. According to Bach's obituary, Bruhns was one of the composers that he took ‘as a model’, and he is therefore naturally of interest to Bach specialist Masaaki Suzuki.

On this first of two discs made in collaboration with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Suzuki directs – from the organ – a group of singers and musicians, in six of the vocal works: so-called ‘sacred concertos’ scored for 1-3 soloists and various combinations of strings with basso continuo. Suzuki’s performances of two organ pieces by Bruhns – the larger of the two preludes in E minor, and the fantasia on the chorale Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland – appear here as well.


These performances by famed Bach conductor Masaaki Suzuki were recorded in 2016 and 2017 at Yale University in the U.S. but not released until 2022. Bruhns is closer to Buxtehude (and there's even the flavor of Heinrich Schütz) in these chamber cantatas than he is to Bach. Suzuki directs these pieces from the organ and gets wonderful results from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music choir; if it originally had an American sound, Suzuki smooths it out. His soloists are not quite the equal of those he assembled in Japan, but they are idiomatic and fully equal to the music, perhaps consistent with what the composer would have heard. A wonderful Baroque release commended to anyone with the slightest interest in Bach and his world.

-- AllMusic.com

Product Description:

  • Release Date: February 04, 2022

  • Catalog Number: BIS-2271

  • UPC: 7318599922713

  • Label: BIS

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Baroque

  • Composer: Nicolaus Bruhns

  • Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Yale Institute of Sacred Music