This is the second Buxtehude disc I've come across recently from mainly Scandinavian performers. The other, Buxtehude: Goteborg Baroque, is outstanding, and so too is the present one. In spite of the title, only two of the pieces are actually to Swedish texts, the other works being in Latin, together with two organ pieces. The cantatas here are mostly less familiar works but all are very fine, with "Ecce nunc benedicite Domino" (track 4) and "Accedite gentes" (6) being my personal favourites on this CD. The Missa alla brevis (8 and 9) brings a change of style, unusually for the composer in 5-voice 'stile antico' with continuo.
The six singers of the Theatre of Voices are all excellent and form an exceptionally fine-sounding ensemble, and the small period-instrument TOV Band are just as good. They are directed by Paul Hillier with admirable style and commitment. The two organ works, among Buxtehude's very finest - the Prelude in E minor and, especially, the Passacaglia in D minor - receive an excellent, stylish performance from Bine Bryndorf on the organ of the Sct. Mariae Kirke, Helsingør.
There are so many discs of Buxtehude sacred cantatas available that, for the collector to make choices, the key considerations must surely be the selection of works on each CD and the quality of the performances. On both counts, this "Scandinavian Cantatas" disc is an outstanding success. It offers an adventurous programme of lovely music, most beautifully performed and recorded. Booklet notes are both interesting and thorough, and altogether this makes an excellent contribution to the Buxtehude discography. In a review of the other, Göteborg Baroque disc mentioned above, I've also listed a few additional recommendations for CDs of the composer's sacred music.