Dietrich Buxtehude

Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrt, cantata in 2 sections for SB voices, instruments & continuo, BuxWV 76

    Description by Joseph Stevenson

    This seven-minute composition is far from being a cantata as the term is commonly understood (a multi-section vocal composition), and even less so according to the usage of Buxtehude's own time, which reserved "cantata" for secular compositions. For once we know in this case the date and occasion of a Buxtehude cantata. It was composed in 1671 for the funeral of Superintendent Menno Hanneken, a town official of Lübeck, where Buxtehude worked. Three years later Buxtehude brought about a repeat performance, this time with an additional section, a Klagelied or Elegy, this time for the funeral of his own father.

    The opening sections (Contrapunctus I, Evolutio, Contrapunctus II, and Evolutio) are written on an open score with no indications as to instruments or voices. The work is a setting of a Martin Luther chorale, adapted from Luke 2: 30-32 ("With Peace and Joy I Depart"). It is in strict four-part counterpoint. The second part redistributes and transposes the voices, so that the bass changes places with the soprano, and the alto with the tenor. The second Contrapunctus is based on the same melody, but is in even more elaborate counterpoint. The final Evolutio is a transposed mirror version of Contrapunctus II. In all, the cantata is an elaborate display of compositional technique, and it may played a part in influencing Johann Sebastian Bach to write his Art of Fugue and other dazzling contrapuntal displays.

    The final Dirge is a simple song, on a poetic text probably by the composer. It is sung above tremolo strings throughout, and is written for soprano, two string parts, and basso continuo.


    1. Mit Fried und Freud
    2. Klagelied: Muss der Tod denn auch entbinden

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Ricercar RIC 109
    2016 Dacapo 8206005
    2016 Rondeau / Rondeau Productions ROP 6114
    2015 Paraty 415133
    2014 BIS 2057 SACD
    2013 Challenge Classics CC 72256
    2013 Rondeau ROP 7006
    2012 Accent ACC 24243
    2011 K 617 617227
    2011 Dorian / Dorian Sono Luminus DSL-92128
    2009 Documents 224050
    2009 Bayard Musique B 3082312
    2008 Dacapo 6220530
    2008 DHM Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 88697281822
    2007 Ricercar 250
    2007 Naxos 8557251
    2003 Naxos 8555775
    2002 Astree Naive 8851
    1997 Dacapo 224062
    Channel Productions 24006