Dieterich Buxtehude (1637–1707)
Buxtehude's proficiency at the organ inspired Johann Sebastian Bach to travel to Lübeck in 1706 to hear him play.
Buxtehude began his career as an organist at the Marienkirche in Helsingor before assuming the post of Franz Tunder at St. Marien in 1668. Next to his duties as church musician, he also successfully directed the Lübeck Municipal Music, which continued the tradition of the “evening music” established by Tunder, and where Buxtehude had his oratorios and other works performed.
Buxtehude wrote vocal and instrumental works, including many organ pieces (preludes, canzonas, chorale settings, suites). Particularly notable are his preludes, thanks to their alternation from fugal to improvised sections and to a wealth of various stylistic elements. Buxtehude's proficiency at the organ inspired Johann Sebastian Bach to travel to Lübeck in 1706 to hear him play. Among Buxtehude's vocal works, the aria, in pure or varied strophic form, stands as a central genre in his works.