Jan Adams Reincken

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schrodingasdawg
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Jan Adams Reincken

Post by schrodingasdawg » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:42 pm

I'm very much into organ music from the Baroque era, and I happened to come across compositions by Reincken (a fugue in G minor and a toccata in G major) on compilation CD's with various composers' works. I was very impressed by these works, and wanted to find more by Reincken, but I'm having trouble finding anything else, and even much information regarding what else Reincken has written.

I know that he wrote at least one harpsichord suite, and a collection of suites called Hortus Musicus. I've found some information about Bach's works after Reincken, BWV 965 and 966, suggesting that at least 11 suites were contained in Hortus Musicus, but I've only been able to find CD's with 6 suites. (Moreover, the only ones available for sale only contained partial/excerpts of the six suites; I found another CD by Les Cyclopes with the complete six suites, but it was sold out on Amazon.)

So I was posting this pretty much because I wanted to ask, what other compositions has Reincken made, are there any recordings of them, and where can I purchase these recordings? Any information on this is much appreciated.

Opus132
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Post by Opus132 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:00 pm

I'm not sure what's the deal with Reincken. I've also had a lot of trouble finding anything by him yet he must have a rather sizable output considering he lived to be 79 year old.

I have the Hortus Musicus and i found it to be pretty interesting, but not comparable with either Buxtehude (proably the greatest composer of this period and definitely the best organist) or Corelli.

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Post by schrodingasdawg » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:26 pm

I'm not sure what the deal with him was either, but I think excessive drinking and obsession with women had something to do with it. (And I think he lived to 99 anyway, not 79. But that bit would only suggest an ever larger output.) Still, one would think that more music by him should be more easily available.

(Edit was to correct an error... I said I had difficulty finding Boehm, but that's not true, I've found plenty by him, I've only found little by Bruhns.)

Then again, there seems to be little music available by a lot of other composers from this era. Nicolaus Bruhns and Johann Nicolaus Hanff I haven't found too much by, and the lists of works by them I've read seem pretty limited. Maybe the music was just lost somehow.

Buxtehude was definitely the best, and if Hortus Musicus wasn't as good as his chamber works nor Corelli's, I'm not going to put the time or effort into getting it (nor the money either). But I'm still curious as to where I can find other organ pieces by him. I think he wrote two chorale preludes, and if Wikipedia is correct (which one can never be too sure of), An den Wasserfluessen Babylon was his most important work.

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Re: Jan Adams Reincken

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:06 pm

schrodingasdawg wrote:I'm very much into organ music from the Baroque era, and I happened to come across compositions by Reincken (a fugue in G minor and a toccata in G major) on compilation CD's with various composers' works. I was very impressed by these works, and wanted to find more by Reincken, but I'm having trouble finding anything else, and even much information regarding what else Reincken has written.

I know that he wrote at least one harpsichord suite, and a collection of suites called Hortus Musicus. I've found some information about Bach's works after Reincken, BWV 965 and 966, suggesting that at least 11 suites were contained in Hortus Musicus, but I've only been able to find CD's with 6 suites. (Moreover, the only ones available for sale only contained partial/excerpts of the six suites; I found another CD by Les Cyclopes with the complete six suites, but it was sold out on Amazon.)

So I was posting this pretty much because I wanted to ask, what other compositions has Reincken made, are there any recordings of them, and where can I purchase these recordings? Any information on this is much appreciated.
Welcome to the board! I assume your name is some kind of reference to Schroedinger's Cat.

It took me several views of your thread title to realize that you were talking about Johann Adam Reincken. He was German, not Dutch, though for some reason the other name does apply to him.

Without wishing to discourage you from your interests (I am an organist who has gotten some mileage out of secondary baroque composers and probably knows more about them than most posters here), many if not most of them were unsophisticated to the point of being provincial. One thing that redeems them is that they sound good on a good baroque organ, which can be a legitimate pursuit all by itself (I would certainly read through something by Reincken if someone plopped my down on a Schnitger and said "This is the only sheet music we have here right now"). But I must share with you in all honesty my opinion that when Bach realized that his antecedents were such as Reincken or even Pachelbel and Buxtehude, it is a wonder that he did not give up on composing for the organ entirely, as did apparently Handel.

Don't let my strong opinion in this matter discourage you from continuing the discussion, or posting on the forum often. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by piston » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:27 pm

No question that you are knowledgeable, jbuck (I don't know how else to call you :D ), but I enjoy Buxtehude's music and I don't know why it should be depicted as "discouraging" to Bach or anybody else. Come on! Bach did not stay so long in Lubeck just because he wanted the job and Buxtehude's daughter was not pretty enough :shock: .
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:39 pm

piston wrote:No question that you are knowledgeable, jbuck (I don't know how else to call you :D ), but I enjoy Buxtehude's music and I don't know why it should be depicted as "discouraging" to Bach or anybody else. Come on! Bach did not stay so long in Lubeck just because he wanted the job and Buxtehude's daughter was not pretty enough :shock: .
No, but he might have because the hospitality was good every night and Bux was himself a Mensch, which Bach always valued (he was one himself in spite of what his sons and a few pupils might have said they thought). Anyway, that's how I've imagined it. :)

Except for the names and some incdidentals of certain forms, Bach owes nothing to Buxtehude in spite of the famous pilgrimage which in my heart in purely musical terms must have been an absolute disappointment. He does unfortunately owe something to Pachelbel--in some of his few weak compositions.

Now before the trap door opens under me, I'm not going to criticize anyone who likes Bux's music (I have at one time or another at least played through all of it myself and only wish it had more ecclesiastical use because it is so simplistic; I could use it every Sunday if no one woudl notice). He is a classic case of what I was talking about before, a composer who is saved by the organ (Buxtehude actually had a much finer one than Bach ever would). I used to own the complete
Buxtehude of Walter Kraft, who also did a complete Bach, and it makes all the difference that he played the works on classic baroque organs.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by piston » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:47 pm

Well, simplistic or not, it's a classic :D case of the tremendous difference between what organists might think today and what musicians thought in Buxtehude's time. It's no secret. He was considered a truly remarkable artist, a "star" by their contemporary standards and I doubt that anyone then viewed Buxtehude as an artist saved by the organ. Your assessment is, I think, anachronistic; it's based on the more complex organ works that followed this time period when nobody could have imagined such a development (and, perhaps, appreciated it as well). But Buxtehude's reputation was not "provincial," and that's a pretty good certainty.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by schrodingasdawg » Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:16 am

Thanks for the welcome, jbuck. And yes, you were right about my alias.

I suppose organ music from the Baroque can be considered simplistic, especially when compared to more modern organ compositions. But it does sound good (I don't know what kinds of organs I have them played on, just that one of the performers used an electric organ, but those performances are actually my favorites [due mostly to the tempos and rhythms he used], as disgusting as this must sound to you), which is exactly why I listen to it. I also happen to listen to a lot of simpler music (including non-classical genres) and more complex music (including modernistic music like Stravinsky), but Baroque organ music (including that by both Bach and those simpler ones before him) is still my favorite. I guess it's just a matter of preference--what the listener likes to hear in music. (Or what the performer likes to play.) And anyway, Buxtehude was the best composer in his style in his time.

I have listened to more recent, Romantic organ composers, like Saint-Saens, Franck, and Reger, (and even someone named Dudley Buck, who I've also been having trouble finding music by, but whose Grand Sonata in Eb was quite good in my opinion,) but I honestly don't like them as much as Buxtehude, Bruhns, Reincken, etc. I've also listened to some 20th century stuff by Francis Poulenc (actually, only a single organ concerto, but I think it's worthy of mention anyway) and Philip Glass, but Glass's stuff is too simple even for me. (I'm not really a big fan of minimalism.)

Anyway, you don't have to worry about discouraging me, and thanks for offering your opinion. But since you are familiar with Reincken (at least from having played his music), do you happen to know where I can get recordings of his music? Or if not, where I can get sheet music? (I don't play the organ. Actually, I play the piano, though badly, but if there's a single piece simpler than say a Chopin etude that I'm encouraged to play, I can manage it with enough practice.)

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:27 am

schrodingasdawg wrote:Anyway, you don't have to worry about discouraging me, and thanks for offering your opinion. But since you are familiar with Reincken (at least from having played his music), do you happen to know where I can get recordings of his music? Or if not, where I can get sheet music?
Have fun browsing through the catalog of the Organ Historical Society:

http://www.ohscatalog.com

The complete works in sheet music are available from Sheet Music Plus:

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp ... 1384985373

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by val » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:15 am

I have his Sonata in A minor, by Goebel with the Musica Antiqua Köln and two wonderful Choral variations for organ played by Foccroulle.

I need to listen to them again, but by nnow I prefer the organ works of Buxtehude and Bruhns (not speaking of the Sweelinck).

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Post by premont » Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:12 pm

Whatever Reincken composed, only few of his works have survived. Of organ works I only know the Fuga g-minor, Toccata G-major and two chorales (An Wasserflüssen Babylons and Was kann uns kommen an für Not). This is not great organ music but still worth listening to. I once heard Walter Kraft play the Toccata at recital, - a marvellous experience.
This CD by F.Flamme contains Reinckens complete organ works and some works by other composers )I haven´t heard it, as it has not been released yet, but I intend to order it soon:
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/hn ... sk/hitlist

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Post by schrodingasdawg » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:03 pm

jbuck, I found one CD with Reincken on it on the site, but it didn't specify which songs. But the sheet music site has a lot of results. Thank you.

Val, I think was able to find the CD's you were talking about. The Musica Antiqua Koeln, is that a three CD set?

Premont, thanks for the link. I think I'm going to order that CD, too.

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Post by Opus132 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:29 pm

What jbuck919 seems to miss is that Bach wasn't anywhere near the composer we know today back in 1705. It's a matter of fact the music composed by Bach before his exposure to Buxtehude was not only inferior to his mentor but was actually quite rotten to begin with.

Furthermore, anybody who has listened to Buxtehude if even for a brief moment would see just how much of his musical language appears in Bach's music. Without the first the latter is just inconceivable.

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Post by schrodingasdawg » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:33 pm

Which pieces did Bach write before being influenced by Buxtehude?

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Post by Opus132 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:55 pm

schrodingasdawg wrote:Which pieces did Bach write before being influenced by Buxtehude?
Not a whole much really. Here's a list of works by him centering around that time frame. The dating is a little ambiguous but it's the best that can be done:

BWV 766^770, Chorale Partitas (3) (1700)
BWV 549, Prelude and Fugue in c (1703)
BWV 563, Fantasia in b (1703^1707)
BWV 570, Fantasia in C (1703^1706)
BWV 568, Präludium in G (1703^1707)
BWV 574, Fuge in c (after Legrenzi) (1703^1707)
BWV 820, Overture (Suite) in F (1705-1707)
BWV 822, Suite in g (before 1707)
BWV 963, Sonata in D (1704)
BWV 965, Sonata in a (1705)
BWV 966, Sonata in C (after J. A. Reincken) (1705)
BWV 990, Sarabande con partite in c (1726)
BWV 992, Capriccio ''sopra la lontananza...'' (1704)
BWV 993, Capriccio in E (1705)
BWV 996, Lute Suite in e (before 1707, or Weimar)
BWV 578, Fugue in g (1705)
BWV 566, Toccata and Fugue in E (1706)
BWV 1121, Fantasia in c (1706^1710)

It's all worth nothing that all the surviving organ pieces of Buxtehude come from his youth, and even those must be an approximation considering organ music was mostly improvised during those times. There's no saying what Bach might have heard back in 1705. Considering his cantatas of 1708 were inspired by Buxtehude last two oratorios (both of which are lost), and considering those cantatas are Bach's first true masterpieces there's also no telling how far Buxtehude artistry had gone by then.
Last edited by Opus132 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by schrodingasdawg » Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:11 pm

I've heard the organ pieces on that list (except the partitas), and I don't think most of it is rotten. BWV 566 and 563 are bland, so I don't really listen to them, but I like the other ones. Actually, 574 was one of my favorites, but if it's after Legrenzi (who I've actually never heard of before...), then that would be Legrenzi who was responsible.

I also sort of like the Lute Suite BWV 996. Especially the Bourree, but that's one of those overhyped ones anyway.

Well, I'm not an expert on music theory, or what's sophisticated, I'm just saying what music I like. I also can't tell to what extent Buxtehude infulenced Bach (though from what I've read, he had a significant influence on Bach).

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Post by Opus132 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:09 pm

Well, rotten compared to what Bach accomplished later on. :lol:

As far as discerning Buxtehude's influence on Bach, well, listen to the following:

BuxWV 142, Prelude in e

BuxWV 148, Prelude in g

BuxWV 161, Passacaglia in d

BuxWV 163, Prelude in g

And consider that those were written a whole 10 to 20 years before Bach was even born. Technically they may not be all that different from the previous crop of organists and compared to what Bach achieved they may even seem crude and bland, but it's the language that's the most striking, and i'm almost convinced Buxtehude made the sound of german organ music as we've known from Bach. His achievement may be comparable to what Vivaldi did to the italian concerto...

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Post by schrodingasdawg » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:40 pm

Hm, yeah, I can hear the similarities between those and some of Bach's organ music. BuxWV 142 seems the most obvious of them.

By the way, has 163 had any influence had any influence on Handel? 'Cos whenever I listen to it, I think part of it sounds eerily similar to Handel's chorus from Messiah, "And he shall purify".

On the topic of Bach, around when did he write BWV 565 (and is it true that it was originally a violin piece?)... and what would you say are his best organ works?

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:09 pm

schrodingasdawg wrote: On the topic of Bach, around when did he write BWV 565 (and is it true that it was originally a violin piece?)... and what would you say are his best organ works?

For those who do not know what our enthusiastic new poster is referring to, it is the famous Toccata [and Fugue] in D minor. There has been an extensive debate about it in the last couple of years, including its authenticity which schrodi," if I may call him that, does not question), in my opinion arising entirely out of the desire of some scholar somewhere to make his career with a bizarre theory.

Let me start by saying that I have lived with this piece all my life. There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that it is an early organ work of Johann Sebastian Bach. Simple logic: it must be by him because it could not possibly be by anybody else (nobody who has suggested spuriousness has suggested an alternative theory). It is called into question largely because it has the only modal ending in Bach and because it is not a "this sounds like Bach" piece. Bach's youth, as this very thread has alluded to, was somewhat experimental. There are several organ pieces that do not sound like anything in the known mature output.

I interpret the D minor as the written-down improvisation of a very young but very brilliant organist. Though I have listened to the alleged violin "reconstruction" I find it unconvincing and arbitrary. Whoever speculated on this probably relied on the fact that there is cross-over in Bach, notably his organ arrangement of the fugue from the G Major Partita for solo violin, but other things as well.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:23 pm

Bach's greatest works? In the form of prelude and fugue, the E minor "wedge." In the form of Trio Sonata, the C Major. In the form of chorale-based work, the large version of "Vater unser im Himmelreich" from the German Organ Mass. Many if not most organists would agree.

Didn't expect such a simple answer, did you? :wink: :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by schrodingasdawg » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:29 pm

Your syntax around where you called be 'schrodi' confused me a bit. But yeah, it would make perfect sense that the earliest works of a composer would be experimental. How early in Bach's youth was the work written?

Which prelude and fugue is the wedge, exactly? Was it 548 or another one?

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:43 pm

schrodingasdawg wrote:Your syntax around where you called be 'schrodi' confused me a bit. But yeah, it would make perfect sense that the earliest works of a composer would be experimental. How early in Bach's youth was the work written?
Don't ask me that; how should I know? :roll: I'm not my college professors Arthur Mendel or Christoph Wolff. Go look it up in Groves. :) Early twenties, I suppose. Bach was not a composing child prodigy.
Which prelude and fugue is the wedge, exactly? Was it 548 or another one?
The BWV numbering is the most confusing in all of music scholarship (at the same time that the work of the Bach Gesellschaft is probably the most important in that field). It bears no resemblance to chronological reality, and I have never bothered to learn much about it, except that BWV 1 is the cantata Wie schoen leuchtet der Morgenstern which was written a number of years after BWV 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden. There is only one important E minor Prelude and Fugue. It shouldn't take long for you to figure it out.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Opus132
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Post by Opus132 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:51 pm

schrodingasdawg wrote: By the way, has 163 had any influence had any influence on Handel? 'Cos whenever I listen to it, I think part of it sounds eerily similar to Handel's chorus from Messiah, "And he shall purify".
Mmh, interesting, i need to investigate on that. I'm pretty down on Handel's italian influences but his german inheritance defies me.
schrodingasdawg wrote: On the topic of Bach, around when did he write BWV 565 (and is it true that it was originally a violin piece?)...
Well, here's what answers.com has to say

Personally i agree Jbuck that in has to be by Bach because there's nobody else who could have written something like that, unless it's a late work by Buxtehude or something (now wouldn't that be funny). Not only was he the greatest of all the german organists but he was the last one as well. The first time they met Reincken actually told him that he thought that art was dead, and that he was glad it was still alive in Bach, which pretty much implies Bach was the only one left.
schrodingasdawg wrote: and what would you say are his best organ works?
Bach's greatest masterpieces are those written in Leipzig, which are the following:

BWV 525^530, Trio Sonatas (6) (1727^1732)
BWV 540, Toccata and Fugue in F (1713^1731)
BWV 542, Fantasia and Fugue in g (1725)
BWV 544, Prelude and Fugue in b (1727^1731)
BWV 546, Prelude and Fugue in c (Fugue at Weimar, Prelude at Leipzig)
BWV 548, Prelude and Fugue in e (1727^1731)

And finally the so called 'Organ Mass', which might as well be the greatest organ work ever written.

After that comes the works from Weimar and Kotchen, of which the following are the most important:

BWV 534, Prelude and Fugue in f (1708^1717)
BWV 543, Prelude and Fugue in a (1708^1717)
BWV 537, Prelude and Fugue in c (1708^1717)
BWV 538, Toccata and Fugue in d ''Dorian'' (1708)
BWV 582, Passacaglia et Fuga in c (1708^1717)
BWV 539, Prelude and Fugue in d (a1720)
BWV 590, Pastorella in F (c1720)

Plus the following chorales:

BWV 651^668, Chorale Preludes III 'Leipzig' (1708-1717, rev. in 1749)

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:03 pm

Opus132 wrote:
schrodingasdawg wrote: By the way, has 163 had any influence had any influence on Handel? 'Cos whenever I listen to it, I think part of it sounds eerily similar to Handel's chorus from Messiah, "And he shall purify".
I think we have to allow some room for coincidence. Bach's great fugue in E-flat is often called the "St. Anne's" because of its resemblance to the hymn tune that is the common setting of "Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past." That is undoubtedly coincidence.

After that comes the works from Weimar and Kotchen, of which the following are the most important:

I believe you mean Coethen (I have umlaut problems on this computer). I don't usually correct spelling but that was rather gross.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Opus132 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:10 pm

jbuck919 wrote: I believe you mean Coethen (I have umlaut problems on this computer). I don't usually correct spelling but that was rather gross.
I actually meant Köthen, but i think my brain lapsed into oblivion as i was trying to type. My mistake... :lol:

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:23 pm

Opus132 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: I believe you mean Coethen (I have umlaut problems on this computer). I don't usually correct spelling but that was rather gross.
I actually meant Köthen, but i think my brain lapsed into oblivion as i was trying to type. My mistake... :lol:
It is quite all right, but you need to know that (at least up to now) Germany has not replaced "C" with "K" in historic place names. When I lived in northern Bavaria I kept running into signs pointing to "Coburg." Half expected that if I followed them I'd end up greeting mutton-chopped descendents of Prince Albert. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by premont » Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:50 am

schrodingasdawg wrote:Which pieces did Bach write before being influenced by Buxtehude?
Can´t be answered. Bach grew up with the music of Buxtehude in hand-written copies from his earliest youth.

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