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Dieterich Buxtehude


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This book is a new edition of the most comprehensive life-and-works study of the great Baroque-era organist and composer Dieterich Buxtehude (ca. 1637-1707), released to celebrate the tercentenary of the composer's death.
Originally published in 1987 and long out of print, Dieterich Buxtehude: Organist in Lübeck is considered by most musicologists to be the definitive biography. It also includes close description of Buxtehude's compositional output, from trio sonatas to the famed Abendmusiken: Buxtehude's yearly oratorio presentations. The young J. S. Bach traveled to Lübeck on foot in 1705 to learn as much as he could from the great master of the organ and of Lutheran church music.
The revised edition contains new information on the organs that Buxtehude played in Scandinavia and Lübeck, excerpts from the newly available account books from St. Mary's in Lübeck, a discussion of newly discovered sources, including one written by J. S. Bach, an evaluation of recent scholarship on Buxtehude, and an extensive bibliography. Written for both the casual reader and the serious scholar.
The accompanying CD provides examples of all genres discussed in the book -- vocal works, a trio sonata, harpsichord music, and organ music newly recorded on the North German meantone organ in Gothenburg, Sweden, by a noted specialist in this repertoire, Hans Davidsson, who is professor of organ at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music and the founder of the Göteborg Organ Art Center (GOArt).

Kerala J. Snyder is Professor Emerita of Musicology, Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester).

Gladden[s] the heart. . . . A state-of-the-art study of a major musical figure.-- CLASSICAL NET [Mark Sealey] Read the complete review online


[The contents of] the splendid CD recording . . . are listed at the front of the book. And what a book it is. Finally, three centuries after his death, Buxtehude has gotten his long-delayed due between two covers, updated and written in an accessible and coherent manner, ready to be referred to and bookmarked by all who love, perform, or just enjoy listening to this master's splendid music. . . . Even if you own the earlier long out-of-print version, put this one beside it for its many updates. And if you've tired of borrowing that earlier one from a library, here's the chance to put this valuable resource on your own bookshelves for handy reference. THE AMERICAN ORGANIST [Barbara Owen]

[Snyder] writes engagingly throughout and provides a rich array of musical examples and descriptions. EARLY MUSIC [Julie Anne Sadie]

A model of modern music biography. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MUSICOLOGICAL SOCIETY [George Stauffer]

Worthy of its subject, perhaps, as few other books can really claim to be. MUSICAL TIMES[Stephen Daw]

Snyder's prose is commendably clear, making the book accessible to the lay reader and also illuminating for the specialist. . . . The organ tracks [on the CD] have been newly recorded by Hans Davidsson. . . . Elegantly typeset. . . . A welcome reissue of an authoritative and highly readable text on one of the main figures of the German Baroque. EARLY MUSIC [Stephen Rose]

[Includes a CD] of Buxtehude's music in first-class performances. . . . A vast amount of solid and absolutely sound scholarship and documentation (150 pages of appendices). . . . The book itself is very readable. EARLY MUSIC REVIEW

One of the best volumes about the life and times of a musician ever to appear in English. Its survey of Buxtehude's world is a must for anyone studying the baroque. . . . Summing Up: Essential. All readers; all levels. CHOICE [Jane Ambrose]

A wonderful book. . . . This is the bible about Buxtehude. If you want to know anything about Buxtehude, this is the book to get. ...An absolute must. BBC CD REVIEW [Nick Morgan]


First Published: 15 May 2007
13 Digit ISBN: 9781580462532
Pages: 584
Size: 9 x 6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: University of Rochester Press
BIC Class: AV

Details updated on 04 Apr 2016


  • 1  Denmark
  • 2  Lübeck: The City
  • 3  Lübeck: St. Mary's Church
  • 4  Beyond the Walls of Lübeck
  • 5  Vocal Music
  • 6  Works of Learned Counterpoint
  • 7  Keyboard Works
  • 8  Sonatas
  • 9  The Sources of Buxtehude's Music
  • 10  Toward A Chronology of Buxtehude's Music
  • 11  The Performance of Buxtehude's Music