ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
Buxtehude - Organ Works Vol. 3


DIETERICH BUXTEHUDE - Complete Organ Works Vol. 3 - Christopher Herrick (Organ) - Organ of St-Louis-en-l'Īle - 034571178554 - Released: March 2011 - Hyperion CDA67855

This is the third disc in the series of Dieterich Buxtehude's complete organ works performed by Christopher Herrick. I applaude Mr. Herricks choice in organs. Most music is written for certain instruments, piano, violin, flute, etc ... played on differing instruments is not that different of a sound scape. Organ music is written for organs. No two of which sound exactly alike. A careful choice of both instrument and material played on it can make or break a recording.

In this recording we have the wonderfully voiced Aubertin Organ of St-Louis-en-l'Īle, Paris. This organ is in a middle ground between small and not too large. It has the umph to go loud and proud and the moderation in size to still be intimate and sweet. It has been beautifully captured in all it's glory by the engineers at Hyperion. Checking out the organ's specifications you will find a nice suite of stops that are very well thought out. This organ has been used by a great many performers as of late. Mr. Herrick has teased out some rather creative registrations that will surprise and delight any seasoned Buxtehude listener.

So what happens on this disc? You get a well thought out selection of Buxtehude's free works and chorales. Tastefully played with great registration, tempos and performance mannerisms. Never boring, never over the top.

Buxtehude's works are more in the style of improvisation. Not to difficult to follow. With canonic fugues and easy to follow lines. But very easy to mess up with the wrong approach. What is not so easy to pull off is the timing required to keep things clear and interesting without degrading into faux improvisations. Christopher has combined his great ability to register a piece with his wonderful sense of timing to create a very well rounded out disc. Few organists have the ability to listen to themselves and craft such a thoroughly enjoyable body of work as Mr. Herrick.

Highly recommended.

Mark Kravchenko