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.
The choral “Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ” was the
prominent hymn (Hauptlied) for Christmas Day in the
Lutherian church in Germany. It is therefore not
surprising that all the organ composers of the German
Baroque era composed one or more preludes to this hymn.
The prelude by Buxtehude is in his familiar style. It
has a little surprise at the end: the cantus firmus
goes al the way down to G in the lowest octave of the
Although originally created for Organ, I created this
Interpretation of the Choral Prelude: "Gelobet seist
du, Jesu Christ" (BuxWV 189) for French Horn & Strings
(Violin, Viola & Cello).