Say what you will about Ton Koopman's many Bach recordings, you have to admit his few Buxtehude recordings are something special. For some, Koopman's Bach, for all its deep devotion and immense musicality, was still a bit too individualistic, but Koopman's Buxtehude, while matching his Bach for devotion and musicality, was appropriately quirky and eccentric. In this disc of organ works, Koopman relishes the Danish composer's giddy forms, roiling counterpoint, roaring harmonies, and relentless rhythms, articulating the Ciacona in E minor's angular lines and the Toccata in F major's rambunctious figurations with laughing joy and the many choral preludes' aching melodies with compassionate understanding. As with his Bach organ recordings, Koopman's finger technique is brilliant, his pedal technique is impeccable, and his blends and balances of the stops on the Coci/Klapmeyer organ of the St. Nicolai Kirche in Altenbruch range from the delicately ethereal to the overwhelmingly physical. Recorded in big, brash sound, this Buxtehude disc is arguably one of the best things Koopman's ever done.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard