Dietrich Buxtehude is probably most familiar to modern
classical music audiences as the man who inspired the
young Johann Sebastian Bach to make a lengthy
pilgrimage to Lubeck, Buxtehude's place of employment
and residence for most of his life, just to hear
Buxtehude play the organ. But Buxtehude was a major
figure among German Baroque composers in his own right.
Though we do not have copies of much of the work that
most impressed his contemporaries, Buxtehude
nonetheless left behind a body of vocal and
instrumental music which is distinguished by its
contrapuntal skill, devotional atmosphere, and raw
intensity. He helped develop the form of the church
cantata, later perfected by Bach, and he was just as
famous a virtuoso on the organ.
This praeludium in F major looks much more like a
prelude and fugue than the typical Buxtehude
praeludium. It consists of two section, a free
toccata-like section and a fugue section. Unlike the
typical Buxtehude fugue section, the fugue never breaks
down into free rhapsodic material. Also the free
section comes to a full stop before the fugue starts.
Buxtehude's fondness for motivic connections between
sections is still manifest in the piece in that the
material from the second measure of the fugue subject
is not all too dissimilar from the opening of the free
I created this Interpretation the Prelude & Fugue in F
Major (BuxWV 144) for Concert (Pedal) Harp Duet.