Buxtehude: Cantatas, BuxWV 64 & BuxWV 32; Sonatas, Op. 1/3 & 4; Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrt; Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV 163; Toccata in D minor, BuxWV 155

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Buxtehude
LABELS: Naïve Astrée
WORKS: Cantatas, BuxWV 64 & BuxWV 32; Sonatas, Op. 1/3 & 4; Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrt; Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV 163; Toccata in D minor, BuxWV 155
PERFORMER: Limoges Baroque Ensemble/Christophe Coin
CATALOGUE NO: E 8851

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Christophe Coin, both viola-da-gambist and director of this ensemble, indulges himself – and us – in music from a composer with a particular penchant for the gamba. It replaces second violin in two trio sonatas, and plays a solo role in two cantatas. The performances are first-rate – seamless legatos, bold and vigorous articulations off-the-string, and shot through with heartfelt expressiveness. So, too, is the singing of Rodrigo del Pozo, becoming well-known as a high tenor (haute-contre) in French music, and here soaring to high Cs in a Latin cantata, again with obbligato gamba. As instrument imitates voice, it recalls each nuance of the words, effectively singing itself. The high point is also the simplest, an elegy with both text and music by Buxtehude, on the death of his organist father. Soprano, two gambas (the booklet notes are wrong) and continuo perform exquisite four-part counterpoint, the voice chorale-like, the instruments gently entwined below. They offer three of a possible seven verses, reasonable enough in this context – but perhaps try playing them twice to sense the timelessness Buxtehude intended. Strings, voices and continuo are leavened with some keyboard music, including a magnificently spacious organ Prelude, in turn gestural, contrived and flamboyant, recorded in a church in Toulouse. George Pratt