Monday, September 1, 2008

Johann Pachelbel (1653 - 1706) - Canon in D major


Hi Passengers !
Musicologie celebrates tonight Johann Pachelbel baptised September 1, 1653 – buried March 9, 1706) was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. 
Popularity of the Canon in D 
Pachelbel's Canon in D major, a piece of chamber music scored for three violins and basso continuo and originally paired with a gigue in the same key, experienced a tremendous surge in popularity during the 1970s. This is believed to be due to a recording by Jean-François Paillard in 1970, which made it a universally recognized cultural item. 
Its visibility was greatly increased by its choice as the theme song for the popular film Ordinary People. Now one of the most recognized and famous baroque compositions, it has in recent years become extremely popular for use in weddings, rivalling that of Wagner's Bridal Chorus.
Johann Pachelbel 
He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era. Pachelbel's music enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. 
Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D, as well as the Chaconne in F minor, the Toccata in E minor for organ, and the Hexachordum Apollinis, a set of keyboard variations. Pachelbel's music was influenced by southern German composers, such as Johann Jakob Froberger and Johann Kaspar Kerll, Italians such as Girolamo Frescobaldi and Alessandro Poglietti, French composers, and the composers of the Nuremberg tradition. 
He preferred a lucid, uncomplicated contrapuntal style that emphasized melodic and harmonic clarity. His music is less virtuosic and less adventurous harmonically than that of Dieterich Buxtehude, although, like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with different ensembles and instrumental combinations in his chamber music and, most importantly, his vocal music, much of which features exceptionally rich instrumentation. 
Pachelbel explored many variation forms and associated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.

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