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Friedhelm Flamme’s latest disc in his traversal of the organ music of the northern European baroque opens with three intriguing Praeludia by Georg Saxer, Georg Böhm’s successor at the Johanneskirche in Lüneburg. Rather freer in form than those of Buxtehude, their rhetorical quirkiness suits Flamme’s zippy style. Elsewhere, and like his other recordings, I find his slick efficiency a bit breathless, especially in the melismatic chorale variations (Gustav Düben’s Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren in particular). Much of the music here (although not that of the three Dübens) radiates an allure more ‘dorf ’ than ‘stadt’ and a more elegant approach could have raised its stature. A nice curiosity is the Magnificat setting by Johann Schieferdecker, Buxtehude’s successor in Lübeck and therefore husband of the latter’s supposedly undesirable daughter. Marcussen’s reconstruction of the mid 17th-century organ by Hans Christoph Frietzsch in Buxtehude’s first church sounds fresh and attractive; the reeds are especially refined.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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