Personalities | Johann Adam Reincken | Late Baroque | Classical

(Yo-han A’-dam Rin’-ken) 1623–1722
Netherlandish-German composer

Reincken studied the organ with Heinrich Scheidemann (c. 1595–1663) at St Catharine’s, Hamburg, becoming his assistant then successor. Reincken was both teacher and virtuoso organist. Many musicians travelled to hear him play, including Georg Böhm (1661–1733), Buxtehude and J. S. Bach. In 1720 Bach himself played on the organ of St Catharine’s before an audience that included the 97-year-old Reincken. Little of his organ music has survived, but an indication of his virtuosity can be found in the extended chorale variations, An den Wasserflüssen Babylon (‘By the Waters of Babylon, 1720) – on which Bach improvised during his recital. Reincken also wrote chamber music, of which only Hortus musicus (‘Park Music’, 1687) has survived.

Recommended Recording:
Hortus Musicus and works for harpsichord, Purcell Quartet, Robert Woolley (Chandos)

Introduction | Late Baroque | Classical
Personalities | Alessandro Scarlatti | Late Baroque | Classical


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