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 A minor consists of two free toccata
sections sandwiching two fugues. Instead of separating
the two fugues with some free non-imitative material as
Buxtehude usually does, he proceeds straight from one
fugue to the other. The two fugue subjects are
thematically related, the second is a 3/2 time version
of the first subject in common time.
I created this Interpretation of the Praeludium in E
Minor in the Phrygian Mode (BuxWV 152) for Oboe &
Strings (Violin, Viola & Cello).