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Johann Pachalbel 1653-1706


pachelbel - online jigsaw puzzle - 42 pieces

Johann Pachalbel, born in Nuremburg,Germany in 1653 was an organist, composer and teacher of the Baroque period. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fuue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.

Canon in D



Pachelbel's work 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, 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 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. Pachelbel 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 variationforms and associated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.

One of the last middle Baroque composers, Pachelbel did not have any considerable influence on most of the famous late Baroque composers, such as Handel,  Scarlatti or Telemann. He did influence Johann Sebastian Bach indirectly; the young Johann Sebastian was tutored by his older brother Johann Christoph Bach, who studied with Pachelbel, but although JS Bach's early chorales and chorale variations borrow from Pachelbel's music, the style of northern German composers ( Böhm,  Buxtehude, Reincken) played a more important role in the development of Bach's talent.

Pachelbel was the last great composer of the Nuremberg tradition and the last important southern German composer. Pachelbel's influence was mostly limited to his pupils, most notablyJohann Christoph Bach, Johann Heinrich Buttstett, Andreas Nicolaus Vetter, and two of Pachelbel's sons, Wilhelm Hieronymus and Charles Theodore. The latter became one of the first European composers to take up residence in the American colonies and so Pachelbel influenced, although indirectly and only to a certain degree, the American church music of the era. Composer, musicologist and writer Johann Gottfried Walther is probably the most famous of the composers influenced by Pachelbel – he is, in fact, referred to as the "second Pachelbel" inMattheson's Grundlage einer Ehrenpforte.

As the Baroque style went out of fashion during the 18th century, the majority of Baroque and pre-Baroque composers were virtually forgotten. Local organists in Nuremberg and Erfurt knew Pachelbel's music and occasionally performed it, but the public and the majority of composers and performers did not pay much attention to Pachelbel and his contemporaries. In the first half of the 19th century, some organ works by Pachelbel were published and several musicologists started considering him an important composer, particularly Philipp Spitta, who was one of the first researchers to trace Pachelbel's role in the development of Baroque keyboard music. Much of Pachelbel's work was published in the early 20th century in the Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich series, but it was not until the rise of interest in early Baroque music in the middle of the 20th century and the advent of historically-informed performance practiceand associated research that Pachelbel's works began to be studied extensively and again performed more frequently.


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