Nicolaus Bruhns (1665-1697): Erstanden ist der heilige Christ

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Bruhns was a member of one of those musical dynasties so common in the Baroque era. His grandfather was a lutenist at the ducal court at Gottorf and to the town council of Lübeck. His three sons Friedrich Nicolaus, Paul and Peter all followed their father into the profession of music. Paul the middle son studied under Tunder and secured a position as organist in Schwabstedt he had two sons Nicolaus and Georg. Both were musically very talented and were sent by their father to live and study at Lübeck under their uncle Peter as teenagers. Nicolaus also studied under Buxtehude who evidently regarded him with some affection and who wrote a glowing reference for him when he applied for a job as a composer and virtuoso violinist in Copenhagen. He remained at Copenhagen for a few years and imbibed Italianate music style from the Italians working there. In March 1689 he was unanimously appointed to the position of organist to Husum Stadtkirche  and was promptly the subject of attempt to woo him away from that post to Kiel. The Husum authorities were determined to hang on to him however which they did by voting him a generous salary increase. He remained at Husum until his death at the age of thirty two when was succeeded by his brother Georg.  So far as I know only twelve of his vocal works have survived but his influence was out of all proportion to the scant number of his works that have survived. His Italian solo cantatas brought the form to previously unscaled heights and his three sacred madrigal cantatas, (Hemmt eure Trähnenfluht, Muss nicht der Mensch and O werter heilger Geist) are thought by some to be a direct link between mid-Baroque German music and that of Bach. His chorale concerto Erstanden ist der heilige Christ is the only such in his surviving output but is typical of Bruhns’ work in that even though he makes use of a popular Lutheran hymn he makes no use whatsoever of the chorale. It’s a cheerful piece with some lovely harmonies and counterpoint in which you can hear Buxtehude’s teaching both in the sung and the instrumental parts. Enjoy :).

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Series Navigation<< Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Der Friede sei mit dir BWV 158Buxtehude’s Nichts soll uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes and its influence on Bach’s Jesu Meine Freude >>

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