Dieterich Buxtehude

(c. 1637 - 1707)

Danish organist and composer. In 1668 appointed organist, Marienkirche, Luebeck, from which his fame as a player spread through Europe. In 1673, reinstated practice of giving ambitious music performances in association with church services. Known as Abendmusiken (evening concerts), they were held annually on the five Sundays before Christmas. Such was Buxtehude's fame that J. S. Bach walked 250 miles from Arnstadt to hear him play. Composed many works for organ (which influenced Bach), and trio sonatas. His vocal music, most of it to sacred texts, is as important as his organ works. He wrote 20 cantatas, of which the cycle of seven, Membra Jesu Nostri (1680) is highly regarded; his other vocal compositions may be categorized as concertos, chorales, and arias. His arias suggest the influence of Monteverdi, with a strong preference for strophic form over the da capo aria. Read more on Wikipedia.