I do not claim to be an expert on the subject of North-German organ music, but I do have a great love and respect for it, particularly Dietrich Buxtehude, whose glorious music is given a fine airing in this wonderful Naxos recording.
The instrument is superb, the acoustics perfect for the repertoire, and Ellenberger's interpretations are really quite something. Once again, Naxos provide brilliant sleeve notes, which are brief without missing important details. Whilst Ellenberger's playing and interpretations might not be everyone's idea of "traditional" Buxtehude, these are far more invigorating and interesting than, say, Wolfgang Rubsam's, who is included in this same series of discs (incidentally, Rubsam is the recording producer on this disc).
The instrument itself (Evangelical Lutheran City Church, Buckeburg) is a wonderful example of Rudolf Janke's stylish building; and although it was completed as recently as 1997, the tonal colour and verve is everything I would want and expect from a good Buxtehude disc. Ellenberger has a great command of the instrument and demonstrates a huge variety tonal colour, stop combinations etc., not least in the first track "Magnificat primi toni" BuxWV203, which is the highlight of this wonderful disc - although the entire programme and combination of pieces has been carefully thought-out and presented as a wonderful sample of the most beautiful of Buxtehude's works.
Despite being an organist myself, I often find CDs of organ music quite unexciting, but this recording is truly magnificent in every sense of the word. For those looking for an exciting, invigorating CD of Buxtehude, look no further! I only wish others in this same series were as brilliant as this.