Dieterich Buxtehude

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Dieterich Buxtehude (German pronunciation: [ˈdiːtəʁɪç bʊkstəˈhuːdə], also Dietrich; Danish Diderich [ˈdidəʁɪk buksdəˈhuːðə], equivalent to the modern Diderik; c. 1637-1639 - May 1707) was a German-Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services. He composed in a wide variety of vocal and instrumental idioms, and his style strongly influenced many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach. Buxtehude, along with Heinrich Schütz, is considered today to be one of the most important German composers of the mid-Baroque.[2]

Contents

Life

Early years in Denmark

He is thought to have been born with the name Diderich Buxtehude.[3] Scholars dispute both the year and country of his birth, although most now accept that he was born in 1637 in Helsingborg, Skåne, at the time part of Denmark (but now part of Sweden).[4] His obituary stated that "he recognized Denmark as his native country, whence he came to our region; he lived about 70 years".[5] Others, however, claim that he was born at Oldesloe in the Duchy of Holstein, which at that time was a part of the Danish Monarchy (but is now in Germany). Later in his life he Germanized his name and began signing documents Dieterich Buxtehude.[3]

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