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Fanfare Magazine: 36:1 (09-10/2012)
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Reviewer: J. F. Weber

One problem in my Buxtehude cantata discography was identifying the seven verses of the Klag-Lied of BuxWV 76, since no one sings all of them. Now on this disc I finally have verse 3 (“Solcher ist mir”) along with the first and last verses; verse 2 is on Eufoda 1294, verse 4 is on Ricercar 046023, and verses 5 and 6 are on Dacapo 8.224062 (now Naxos 8.557251), not counting a few duplicates. There are two parts to this work, Mit Fried und Freud and Musz der Tod. The former is funeral music written in 1671 on the death of Meno Hanneken in Lübeck; the latter is a lament written in 1674 on the death of his own father, which occasioned the publication of the paired works. The two halves are generally recorded separately; only Hans-Jörg Mammel (Fanfare 35:1) has sung both, and he included only the first verse of the Trauermusik and verses, 1, 6, and 7 of the Klag-Lied, while Kuijken performs all four verses of the former along with verses 1, 3, and 7 of the latter, as noted already. Jos van Veldhoven (30:1) almost duplicates the entire present disc, but onetime colleague Brian Robins failed to indicate the number of verses for the Klag-Lied, although he does say that the Trauermusik is only instrumental.

The main work is the much-recorded set of seven cantatas, each one focused on a wounded member (feet, knees, hands, etc.) of the crucified Savior. The sentiments of the texts reflect Pietism, a brand of Christian devotion prevalent in Protestantism in the 17th century but dating back to the Middle Ages. There are at least 17 recordings of this work, many of them at least satisfactory. Kuijken uses six singers and eight players on period instruments to provide one of the best small-ensemble performances on record. This formation matches several other recent versions exactly, Harry Christophers (34:1) being especially fine; one must go back to Erik van Nevel (23:5), Masaaki Suzuki (22:2), or Diego Fasolis (21:2) for two or three voices in the choral sections. Kuijken has the advantage of an especially appropriate filler, so it makes a good choice for a collector who has none of these four.
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