Johann Pachelbel (pronounced /ˈpækəlbɛl/, /ˈpɑːkəlbɛl/, or /ˈpɑːkəbɛl/; baptized September 1, 1653 – buried March 9, 1706) was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, whobrought the south German organ tradition to its peak. 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 aplace among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.
Pachelbel's work enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for thecomposers of south and central Germany. Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D, the only canon he wrote - although a true canon at the unison in three parts, it is often regarded more as apassacaglia, and it is in this mode that it has been arranged and transcribed for many different media. In addition to the canon, his most well-known works include the Chaconne in F minor, the Toccata in Eminor 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. Pachelbel preferred a lucid, uncomplicated contrapuntal style thatemphasized melodic and harmonic clarity. His music is less virtuosic and less adventurous harmonically than that of Dieterich Buxtehude, although, like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with differentensembles 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 andassociated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.
During his lifetime, Pachelbel was best known as an organ composer. He...