Buxtehude's chamber music deserves to be far better known. His organ music is recognised to be of the highest quality (the young Bach famously walked 250 miles to hear Buxtehude play his own music) and while perhaps not quite in that league the chamber music here is extremely good and thoroughly enjoyable. It is full of melody and harmonic invention, is zestful and joyful in places and very beautiful in others. I am very glad that The Purcell Quartet have recorded it on an excellent pair of discs - this and Op.1 VII Suonate Op 1.
Like everything the Purcell Quartet do, this glows with commitment, virtuosity and sheer love of the music. They are four superb musicians who have played together for many years while also pursuing other projects which keeps them fresh when they play as a quartet. The empathy and understanding between them is palpable and they bring genuine depth to the music - and a real zest and zing where appropriate. It's a cracking disc.
There is another excellent recording on Naxos by John Holloway, Jaap ter Linden and Lars Ulrich Mortensen which I have loved for many years Buxtehude: 7 Trio Sonatas Op. 2. This is just as good, and if you just want one then on balance I'd probably prefer this - there's just something about the way they play together which makes it rather special, and the recorded sound is a little richer, which I like. It's very good music, beautifully played and extremely well recorded and presented. Very warmly recommended.
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