These three variations on the hymn ‘Danket dem Herren’ by Dietrich Buxtehude are played on the Hauptwerk sample set of the Schnitger organ, Noordbroek, sampled by Sonus Paradisi.
The art of variation was a popular form during the baroque period. These variations are an early example, probably meant for playing during a service with alternating singing by the congregation between the variations/verses.
Three variations and each with three voices in them means probably an homage to the Holy Trinity. The way Buxtehude treats these variations reminds us of the way Scheidt composed chorale variations. The composer mostly doesn’t prescribe how to play these variations; manuals only, cantus firmus in the pedals. So it gives that freedom tot he performer, which is very nice.
I didn’t know this hymn. Its origin lies in the secular song by Ludwig Senfl ‘Vitam quae faciant’.