Ton Koopman

Opera Omnia IX, Organ Works 4

Price: € 12.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917224825
Catnr: CC 72248
Release date: 31 October 2008
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 12.95
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72248
Release date
31 October 2008

About the album

In my introduction to the first two CDs of Buxtehude’s organ works, I explained my division of Buxtehude’s œuvre in two
parts: works for organ in mean-tone tuning and works for organ in Werck- meister tuning. I have also adopted this
division here.

The beautiful village church in Basedow is home to a 17 th -century three-manual organ (as in Lüdingworth) in meantone
tuning. Many chorales and a few plenum pieces sound phenomenal on this colourful instrument, which was very nearly
demolished in the days of the GDR and, now fortunately restored, has its own individual sound.

Remarkably, the number of notated or- naments in the organ works of Dieterich Buxtehude is usually very small. But in
the chorale settings, most of which have been passed down to us by J.G. Walther in three collections, we see a great many ornaments. These are scorned by modern editors, who notate only a minimum of ornaments, which they ascribe to Walther. As they deem these ‘unauthentic’, they claim they are better omitted. In the Canzonetta, BuxWV 167, we see an example of a short work with many ornaments notated in the original source (in the hand of G. Lindemann, dated 5 March 1713) which we find in a relatively complete state in some modern editions. Far from complete, unfortunately, are the editions of the Prelude in A major, BuxWV 151. In addition to the chorales copied by Walther, these highly ornamented works give us an idea of the harpsichord-like playing of organists in the late 17 th and early 18 th centuries.

It would indeed be too facile to write these off as ‘unauthentic’. One organist’s ornamentation comes easier than that
of another; this was as true then as it is today. But beware: ornaments are part and parcel of the language that can enliven the rigid dynamics of the organ. A restored palace without the original decorations and embellishments looks
like a monument damaged by fire, one which lacks elegance. Unfortunately, organ music often suffers the same fate.
Ton Koopman
Buxtehude's compositorisch verfijnde orgelmuziek vertolkt door Ton Koopman
Opera Omnia deel IX bevat een selectie van geïmproviseerde composities van de orgelwerken van Dieterich (Dietrich, Diderich) Buxtehude, uitgevoerd door Ton Koopman. In dit 4e deel met orgelwerken in de serie Opera Omnia zijn preludes, fuga's en koralen opgenomen. Buxtehude creëerde hiermee een nieuwe maatstaf, zowel in compositorische verfijning als expressie. Voor een historisch verantwoorde aanpak van zijn orgelconcerten, koos Koopman de instrumenten met zorg uit. In dit album speelt hij op het gerenoveerde 17e-eeuwse orgel van de dorpskerk in Basedow, Duitsland. Een orgel dat zeer geschikt is voor de muziek in deze opname.

Buxtehude was een Deens-Duitse organist en door velen bewonderde componist uit de barokperiode. Hij componeerde vocale en instrumentale muziek. Zijn orgelwerken omvatten een aanzienlijk deel van het standaard orgelrepertoire van onze hedendaagse kerkdiensten. Buxtehude wordt beschouwd als de belangrijkste Duitse componist in de periode tussen Heinrich Schütz en Bach. Zijn stijl heeft veel componisten sterk beïnvloed. Hij was één van de grote voorbeelden van Johann Sebastian Bach. Het verhaal gaat dat Bach, toen 20 jaar, in 1705 helemaal naar Lübeck liep - 400 km - om Dieterich Buxtehude daar in de Marienkirche te horen spelen.

Wellicht dat die anekdote Ton Koopman inspireerde tot zijn project Opera Omnia om het gehele bewaard gebleven oeuvre van Buxtehude uit te voeren en op te nemen. Er was hem veel aan gelegen Buxtehude als het brein achter de vocale muziek van Bach te erkennen. Koopman is een van de meest vooraanstaande uitvoerders van oude muziek en voorzittter van het Internationale Buxtehude Gesellschaft.
Die vorliegende 4. Folge der Orgelwerke Buxtehudes enthält eine repräsentative Auswahl freier Kompositionen und solcher, die auf Chorälen basieren. Folgende Gattungen und Kategorien sind in ihr enthalten: Pedal-Präludien, Fugen und Orgelchoräle. Alle Werke weisen einen musikalischem Einfallsreichtum auf, die Buxtehude auf dieses Genre anwendet und die neue Maßstäbe sowohl hinsichtlich kompositorischen Raffinements als auch hinsichtlich der Ausdruckstiefe setzen.


Ton Koopman was born in Zwolle in 1944. After a classical education he studied organ, harpsichord and musicology in Amsterdam and was awarded the Prix d'Excellence for both instruments. From the beginning of his musical studies he was fascinated by authentic instruments and a performance style based on sound scholarship and in 1969, at the age of 25, he created his first Baroque orchestra. In 1979 he founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra followed by the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992.

Koopman's extensive and impressive activities as a soloist, accompanist and conductor have been recorded on a large number of LPs and CDs for labels like Erato, Teldec, Sony, Philips and DG, besides his own record label “Antoine Marchand”, distributed by Challenge Records.

Over the course of a forty-five-year career Ton Koopman has appeared in the most important concert halls and festivals of the five continents. As an organist he has performed on the most prestigious historical instruments of Europe, and as a harpsichord player and conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir he has been a regular guest at venues which include the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Philharmonie in Munich, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York and leading concert halls in Vienna, London, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Rome, Salzburg, Tokyo and Osaka.

Between 1994 and 2004 Ton Koopman has been engaged in a unique project, conducting and recording all the existing Cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, a massive undertaking for which he has been awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis "Echo Klassik", the BBC Award 2008, the Prix Hector Berlioz, has been nominated for the Grammy Award (USA) and the Gramophone Award (UK). In 2000 Ton Koopman has received an Honorary Degree from the Utrecht University for his academic work on the Bach Cantatas and Passions and has been awarded both the prestigious Silver Phonograph Prize and the VSCD Classical Music Award. In 2006 he has received the « Bach-Medaille » from the City of Leipzig.

Recently Ton Koopman has embarked on another main project: the recording of the whole works by Dietrich Buxtehude, one of the great inspirer of the young J.S. Bach. The recording will be accomplished in 2010 with the release of 30 CDs. Ton Koopman is President of the “International Dieterich Buxtehude Society”.

Ton Koopman is very active as a guest conductor and he has collaborated with many prominent orchestras in Europe, USA and Japan. He has been Principal Conductor of the Netherland Radio Chamber Orchestra and has collaborated with the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, DSO Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and Wiener Symphoniker. In the following season he will work on new programmes with the New York Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Orchestra RAI in Turin, Stockholm Philharmonic, Tonhalle in Zurich. After the great success of his tour at the beginning of 2008, Ton Koopman has been nominated Artist in Residence at the Cleveland Orchestra for three consecutive years starting in 2011.

Ton Koopman publishes regularly and for a number of years he has been engaged in editing the complete Händel Organ Concertos for Breitkopf & Härtel. Recently he has published Händel’s Messiah and Buxtehude‘s Das Jüngeste Gericht for Carus. Ton Koopman leads the class of harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, is Professor at the University of Leiden and is a Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Ton Koopman is artistic director of the French Festival “Itinéraire Baroque”.



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