Buxtehude VII. Suonate à doi, Violino & Violadagamba, con Cembalo... Introduction by Thomas Fritzsch, Realisation of figured bass by Angela Koppenwallner, Edited by Günter and Leonore von Zadow...

Buxtehude's ensemble music was published in score a century ago (DDT 11, 1903), but without parts, and anyone wishing to perform it had to do a lot of part-writing. The facsimiles of op. 1 & 2 from STIMU (1991) were a help: although the parts were all bound together, they could be torn out easily and the glue still held. But the original layout did not manage to avoid page-turns and the appearence was a bit daunting to players accustomed to the greater clarity of 18th-century engraved parts. A new edition in score appeared in Vol. 14 of the Collected Works (Broude, 1994; $215.00), and an alternative facsimile from Fuzeau (op. 1: 5011; EUR 29.00; op. 2: 5876 EUR 37.50). But now a good modern edition is available of op. 1, with op. 2 to follow soon, along with the gamba sonata in D BuxWV 268 (G065; EUR 14.00) and Jubilate domino for alto, gamba and Bc (G099; EUR 16.00).

I've had op. 1/2 for review. The introductory material (in German and English) is common to each sonata (except, presumably, for the excerpts of facsimile). It places the music in the context of the composer's life and contemporary chamber music. Various suggestions are given for the unusual choice of seven sonatas per set, with no particular favourite singled out. The edition preserves original accidentals (a commendable trend that should be observed more widely). There are some minor changes of clef: in the gamba part, tenor is replaced by alto and barring is standardised in the places where there are long note-values and fewer barlines in the original - sensible modernisations. Page-turns in the parts are avoided by the 2-3/4-5 format, with all parts turning together once at the end of a section where the two lower parts continue with a rest. The cembalo is given a separate figured part; the introduction mentions an additional realised part which isn't included with the set at hand. [Note by Edition Güntersberg: The cembalo part containing the realisation belongs to each booklet. Sorry, that it was missing here.] The edition gives the musician what he needs without being self-conscious about it. Anyone who has heard the CDs will know that the music is absolutely top-rate; now it can be played with no notational hindrances, though it is by no means easy. The picture of the Marienkirche in Lübeck on the cover is a reminder (reinforced in the foreword) that the music is suitable for church as well as secular use.

Clifford Bartlett,
Early Music Review, Number 117, February 2007