Among the general public, Dieterich Buxtehude is mostly known due to the admiration Johann Sebastian Bach had for his organ and composing skills, for which Bach traveled to the North German city of Lübeck to stay with him for four months, no less. This says quite something about the quality of Buxtehude's performance, but even more so about the influence it had on Bach and all composers after him. Yet, nowadays Buxtehude's music does not need Bach to survive, as a matter of fact it is extraordinarily beautiful just by itself!
Buxtehude was originally Danish, but he spent most of him life in Lübeck. His so-called 'Abendmusik', which was a series of evening concerts outside of the liturgy, grew famous. In the works he wrote for these occasions, his enormous fantasy and creative freedom truly shows. As an organ player, Buxtehude was widely famous. If you would listen to his Organ Preludes, you would quickly know why. Buxtehude manages to combine an unprecedented virtuosity with a large variety of styles and techniques. No wonder Bach traveled all that way to see him!