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Classical Composers A-Z: Dietrich Buxtehude

Peter Wintersgill introduces us to the organist and composer Dietrich Buxtehude.

Born
1637 in Helsingore.

Father
Organist.

Childhood
Studied with father.

Adult Life
Was organist at Lubeck in 1668 and married Anna, predecessor's daughter. He gave evening recitals during Advent each year (Abend-musiken).

J.S. Bach travelled 200 miles from Arnstadt to hear him play in 1705. He wrote an oratorio The Last Judgement (1683), also a number of sacred cantatas, arias and concertos. Most of his music is for the organ, e.g. chorale settings, preludes, toccatas and fugues. He soon became recognised as the leading organist in North Germany; He influenced Bach and other composers.

He died 9th May, 1707, in Lubeck aged 70.

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