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Buxtehude - preludes

Using the Friesach sample set of Piotr Grabowski (see here for more details), am enjoying several break-throughs in improvising Buxtehude-style Preludes and free-style forms. These forms tend to mix short sections of declamatory, fantasy phrases with choppy fughettas and contrapuntal sections. The Friesach set gives me the right sound and mix I need to understand the articulation of Buxtehude's figurations. This 'choppiness' is important - more than can be conveyed in theoretical terms such as decoration or embellishment. This choppiness is what first strikes me when I hear this music, as I walk into the church or imagine the movement of the music. It is jagged, complex, angular music - fleeting, moving and pursuing. It captures the flight element of the Fugue - the chase of the subject as it appears and disappears through the texture.

Registration is crucial but not tricky. Again, it depends a great deal on the type of organ used. The Baroque organs of N-Germany were characteristically bright with clear, sculpted sound structures. A typical 8', 4', 2' is mobile, clear and authoritative. Adding a mixture stop results in a strong, even complex sound which might prove too complex for fugal work.

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