Religious enthusiasm in the work of Bruhns

It was not easy for composer (and composer’s son) Nicolaus Bruhns (1665-1697). He turned 31, and only a small part of his works survived. But what there is shows a great and unique talent, although the influence of Bruhn’s teacher Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707) can also be traced. No wonder conductor and organist Masaaki Suzuki was attracted to Bruhn’s oeuvre. In the cantata Jauchzet dem Herrn alle Welt the lithe tenor James Taylor shines in the solo part: Bruhns uses the text (Psalm 100) for the ultimate virtuoso singing of jubilation. The same religious enthusiasm can be heard in the cantatas Paratum cor meum and Erstands ist der Holy Christ, with a bunch of ‘allelujahs’ on which to build a kingdom (ecstatic text repetitions abound anyway). In My heart is ready a delightful, 2.5 minute long violin solo (Robert Mealy) rolls out a carpet of godliness for the bass-baritone (Paul Max Tipton). These are the moments when Bruhn’s individuality radiates towards you.

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