Trinity Episcopal Church’s “Music at Trinity” series soars into its 28th season with “Abendmusik! Baroque and Beyond,” a concert celebrating the music and legacy of Danish organist and composer Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707) at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The performer, and guiding light of “Music at Trinity” — with the collaboration of Grey Brothers — is the incomparable David A. Gell, minister of organ and musical outreach. The concert, at Trinity Church, 1500 State St., is free and open to the public.
The heart of Gell’s program will be Buxtehude’s “Prelude and Fugue in f-sharp minor,” J.S. Bach’s “Prelude & Fugue in e-flat (St. Anne),” and the “Pastoral Sonata in C” by Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901), plus selections by Johann Reincken (1623-1722) and Johann G. Walther (1684-1748).
Except for fanatical devotees of baroque organ music, Buxtehude is little more than a name to most music lovers. Things were very different during his lifetime. Born in Denmark, but making his career in Germany, Buxtehude was a towering figure in German music of the late 17th century. Young Bach and young George F. Handel both made pilgrimages to see him — 20-year-old Bach made the 250-mile journey on foot.
For the last 39 years of his life, Buxtehude was the organist at the Marienkirche, in Lübeck, where he took over the position of organist — marrying the daughter of his predecessor, Franz Tunder — in 1668. In 1673, Buxtehude reorganized a series of musical evenings (Abendmusik), begun by Tunder, which became a celebrated institution, attracting musicians from all over — including Bach and Handel — and remained an integral part of church life until 1810.
— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.