Review Of "North German Church Music In The Age Of Buxtehude" By G. Webber

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This examination of the surviving repertory of North German church music composed during the second half of the 17th century (excluding occasional works for weddings or funerals and Passion settings) should be read in conjunction with Kerala Snyder's important Dietrich Buxtehude: Organist in Lübeck (CH, Mar'88). Much of the music Webber discusses remains unavailable in modern editions. He questions the standard view that this period was dominated by one figure and shows that Italian influence is much stronger than previously thought. Two introductory chapters offer extremely valuable summaries of research otherwise mostly available only in German: the first treats music in religious thought and education, the second, music in the Lutheran liturgy. Other chapters explore aspects of the repertory, including social, compositional, and performance practice issues. Well-designed appendixes list the musical sources. Webber's writing style and presentation simultaneously meet the demands of advanced scholars and of novices--no mean feat. Highly recommended for general readers and upper-division undergraduates through faculty.


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