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.
Both text and music to the chorale melody used as a
source for this chorale prelude were composed by Martin
Luther. The chorale is an Easter chorale. The first
verse reads as follows, "Jesus Christ our savior, who
has overcome death, and is resurrected, and has
captured sin, Kyrie eleison." Buxtehude's setting is in
three voices with no pedal, instead of his typical
four-voice texture. The chorale melody appears in the
soprano in unembellished half notes. This particular
prelude resembles those of Pachelbel far more than it
does most of Buxtehude's other preludes.
Although originally created for Organ, I created this
Interpretation of the Choral Prelude: "Jesus Christus,
unser Heiland" (BuxWV 198) for Classical Guitar Duet.