Buxtehude: Seven Trio Sonatas, Op. 2

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Generalist listeners tend to know the German-Danish Baroque composer Dietrich Buxtehude through a few organ works that one imagines were the ones Bach walked hundreds of miles to hear as a young man -- dense treatments of chorales and some big quasi-improvisatory-movement-and-fugue combinations that you could put on your stereo and rattle not only your own foundation but those of your neighbors. More of his music has become available in recent years, however, and there are even several available recordings of his trio sonatas. This disc is drawn from a survey of Buxtehude's chamber music by two veteran period-instrument players, violinist John Holloway and gambist Jaap ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Generalist listeners tend to know the German-Danish Baroque composer Dietrich Buxtehude through a few organ works that one imagines were the ones Bach walked hundreds of miles to hear as a young man -- dense treatments of chorales and some big quasi-improvisatory-movement-and-fugue combinations that you could put on your stereo and rattle not only your own foundation but those of your neighbors. More of his music has become available in recent years, however, and there are even several available recordings of his trio sonatas. This disc is drawn from a survey of Buxtehude's chamber music by two veteran period-instrument players, violinist John Holloway and gambist Jaap ter Linden. There are seven trio sonatas in this set, which was closely related to the composer's Op. 1 group available on another disc with the same performers. They have between three and five movements each. Anyone expecting Baroque trio sonatas that follow a set of pre-established procedures will be surprised, for every one of these sonatas is different. They have a delightful quality of leaving you completely uncertain as to what's going to happen next. Each movement consists of two or more shorter sections, in varying tempos, and the presence of movement designations like "3/4 -- Vivace" suggests the mixed bag that is present here. These shorter sections are chosen from among a group of loosely followed techniques: dance-like pieces, little fugues, ground basses and variation sets with some very vigorous duets between violin and gamba, and slow, arioso-like passages that liner-note writer Per Baerentzen calls "rhetorical devices" -- short expressive gestures that are distinctively applied each time Buxtehude trots them out. Often these appear at the end of a movement, in a transitional role. After you think you've heard it all, Buxtehude tops himself in the "Sonata No. 5 in A major BuxWV 263," with freely improvised passages in the second and third movements, the former for the violin and the latter for the gamba. Given the level of detail in the tiny print of the notes, it might have been nice to know how these were notated. And the sound is problematical; it's on the edge of being too bright, and Holloway is made to sound oddly distant spatially from the other players. But that ends the short list of complaints about this disc, whose performances strike a good balance between the fantastic elements of this music and Buxtehude's strides toward the formally unified structures of the High Baroque. These trio sonatas are fun, they're highly imaginative, and they're listenable for all.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/13/2005
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313224920
  • Catalog Number: 8557249
  • Sales rank: 175,768

Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Holloway Primary Artist
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