Years before J.S. Bach paved the way toward what is now largely considered the height of the German Baroque, Dietrich Buxtehude was hard at work in northern Germany on his own individual union of the Italian and French Baroque styles. His Op. 1 is a sumptuous, dynamic set of seven sonatas scored for violin, gamba, and continuo (played here by cello and harpsichord). Unlike composers both before and after him, Buxtehude was far from formulaic when it came to the organization of his sonatas, each one having its own unique combination and sequence of movements.
"…If this imaginative mix of tenor/bass sonatas, rather than an all-cello recital, at first seems curious it works well in practice. Those already in possession of the rival accounts listed above may not want to duplicate these works further, though I would rate the present offering most highly; for those coming new to these works, start here." ~Grammophone
"Die Musiker des Ensembles Villa Musica spielen mit einer ansteckenden Begeisterung, mit der diese Werke geradezu wachsen und an musikalischer Bedeutsamkeit zu gewinnen scheinen." (FonoForum)
Heinz Chur was born in Essen (Germany), and for him music is a wonderful language - the language of ideas and emotions. The Piano Sonatas Nos 6 - 8 are examples of his tonal style. These sonatas were composed concurrently (e.g., the first movement of Piano Sonata No. 6 developed during the same year as the final movement of Piano Sonata No. 8), and in each case the completed sonatas were committed to writing within the space of a few days: Sonata No. 6 in 1984, Sonata No. 7 in 1985, and Sonata No. 8 in 1987…
With this disc the Purcell Quartet completes a traversal of the trio sonatas (or “suonate,” to use the title on this disc) of Dietrich Buxtehude for violin, viola da gamba, and harpsichord. For unknown reasons, the op. 2 set has received far fewer recordings than has the op. 1, this being only the third in the active catalog. (As for how a quartet plays trios, the answer is that the two violinists take turns; Read more sonata da camera and sonata da chiesa of the high Baroque. Instead, within a compass of about 10 minutes, there are anywhere from five to 14 distinct sections within one sonata,
Although written for the configuration of two violins and continuo, Dietrich Buxtehude's Seven Sonatas, Op. 1, are not trio sonatas in the usual sense. They refer back to the older type of Italian ensemble sonata, with contrasting short sections following in rapid succession rather than the three- or four-movement sonata or dance suite types. Buxtehude came at the end of this tradition, which by 1694, when these sonatas were first published, was beginning to give way to newer Italian types in points further south. He treated the form in the free, rather fantastic style that was his trademark, emphasizing sudden shifts and using the full range of formal devices available to him; the music may, for example, break into an unexpected fugue.
By the end of his life, the fame of Dietrich Buxtehude as an organist was so great that in 1706 the young J.S. Bach took four weeks’ leave from his employment at Arnstadt and travelled on foot over 200 miles to Lübeck to hear him perform in concert. Ironically, the meteoric rise of the career of Bach himself as a composer meant that, until very recently, Buxtehude was primarily known simply as a forerunner to the great man, when in fact he was a major composer in his own right.
The program represents a musical view of the 17th-century North German collegia musica and the Abendmusiken, which were special concerts presented for merchants, lawyers, and other successful members of society. Inherently secular in nature, this repertoire is highly virtuosic and presents many demands upon the performers. […] Members of this ensemble ably meet those challenges and more. Their expressive musical lines are perhaps slightly less over-the-top than some cornett and sackbut ensembles, and to my mind, this approach is more enjoyable. […] The performance is flawless. (Jeffrey Nussbaum, historicbrass.org)