Dietrich Buxtehude

(c. 1637—1707) Danish organist and composer

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(b Oldesloe, Holstein, c.1637; d Lübeck, 1707).

Danish organist and composer. In 1668 appointed organist, Marienkirche, Lübeck, from which his fame as a player spread through Europe. In 1673 reinstated practice of giving ambitious mus. perfs. in assoc. with church services. Known as Abendmusiken (evening concerts), they were held annually on the 5 Sundays before Christmas. Such was Buxtehude's fame that J. S. Bach walked 200 miles from Arnstadt to hear him play. Comp. many works for org. (which influenced Bach), and trio sonatas. His vocal music, most of it to sacred texts, is as important as his organ works. He wrote 20 cantatas, of which the cycle of seven, Membra Jesu Nostri (1680) is highly regarded; his other vocal comps. may be categorized as concertos, chorales, and arias. His arias suggest the influence of Monteverdi, with a strong preference for strophic form over the da capo aria.

Subjects: Music.

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