Edinburgh Festival: Classical - Buxtehude Organ Cycle

Greyfriar's Kirk, Venue 131, 1.10pm, finishes today
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The Independent Culture
"Who is Buxtehude?" cried the flyers. A good question. His name is vaguely familiar, particularly as the organist that the young JS Bach walked 200 miles to hear - his music, less so. Which is why this cycle of his complete works for organ is so welcome. If some of his music sounds like half-digested Bach, that is only a tribute to the enormous influence he had on the younger composer; possibly without Deitrich Buxtehude we might never have had Bach as we know him.

And if some of the pieces are inconsequential - well, we can't all be geniuses all the time, can we? But pieces like the great stomping Praeludium in G minor, or the splendidly florid Chorale Fantasia "Ich ruf zu dir", and the numerous delightfully inventive chorale preludes, confirm that this is a composer well worth listening to in his own right.

The accomplished organist Andrew Armstrong showed occasional signs of technical indigestion at the massive task of learning involved, but in general he proved to be a most persuasive champion of this neglected master of the Northern Baroque.

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