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Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri / Laudate Pueri Dominum

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, November 16, 2010
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Product Details

  • Performer: Purcell Quartet, Fretwork
  • Composer: Dietrich Buxtehude, Matthias Weckmann
  • Audio CD (November 16, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B0044FEYYU
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
PERFECTION IN MUSIC BRINGS US NEAR TO THE INIFINITE!

Since 1987, beginning with Ton Koopman's excellent performance of 'Membra Jesu Nostri', I have listened to many and varied executions of this inspirational composition by Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707), so I did not expect this recording to be especially unique. But what a surprise hearing this intensely moving and powerful presentation by a talented group of Early Music specialists! The sense of ensemble throughout the entire performance is amazing. It is an amalgamation, a perfect fusion that is quite extraordinary bringing forth the contemplative and penitential nature of these stirring cantatas.

'Membra Jesu Nostri' (the limbs of our Lord Jesus) a cycle of seven cantatas, similar in design, are meditations upon the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ: AD PEDES(to the feet), AD GENUA(to the knees), AD MANUS(to the hands), AD LATUS(to the side), AD PECTUS (to the breast), AD COR(to the heart), AD FACIEM (to the face). The visual perspective is from that of a penitent kneeling at the foot of the cross whose gaze goes upward as he meditates on each part of the body in turn (Note the cover art.) In addition, there is a definite symbolic relationship between the key of each cantata to the penitent; as the gaze moves upward the key moves from flats to sharps, from C minor to E minor, before finally returning to the opening key, producing a beautifully unified cycle. (How appropriate then is this very unified performance!)

Biblical passages are set for the whole ensemble and enclose stanzas from the medieval poem 'Rhythmical Oratio', that are set as arias for small vocal groups and/or soloists, and interspersed with instrumental interludes.
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