Buxtehude & Frescobaldi: Works for Organ & Harpsichord

Luca Guglielmi
60:07
cpo 777 930-2

Guglielmi has recorded this selection of works on five different instruments over three years to 2011. He uses a copy of a 17th-century Italian harpsichord by Michele Barchi for Frescobaldi and a Philippe Humeau copy of the Russell Collections 1638 Ruckers for Buxtehude. There are also three original North Italian organs, built between 1695 and 1752 which provide a variety of registrations for Frescobaldi. The playing is excellent, displaying fluency and a refined sense of each composer’s style. Buxtehude’s harpsichord music is much less known than Frescobaldi’s and the comparison is not quite equal in terms of variety or depth, but Guglielmi includes a couple of pieces by the former which are often played on the organ (the Praeludium in G BuxWv 163 and the Toccata in G BuxWv 165). He also plays an attractive Canzona, BuxWV 166, on organ flutes. The extended Cento partite by Frescobaldi, with its constantly changing tempo relationships, is handled with aplomb. That composer’s Ave Maris Stella versets are somewhat surprisingly paired with the solo verse settings from Monteverdi’s Vespers, sung by Jenny Camponella; the result is not as incongruous as it might sound. Overall this is a very satisfying recording.

Noel O’Regan