31 Aug 2011

Composer of the Week – Johann Pachelbel

Happy Birthday to German composer Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706). We don’t know exactly when Pachelbel was born, but he was baptized on September 1st, so historians place his birthday at the end of August.
Pachelbel was one of the more important composers of the Baroque era, and helped to establish the tradition of German organ music. His music was very popular during his lifetime, but as the Baroque era evolved and ended, he faded into history until his music was rediscovered by musicologists in the early 20th century.
Pachelbel is most well-known now for his Canon in D major, which ends up being played at just about every wedding you’ve ever been to. On a personal level, as a cellist, I get really tired of the piece… all I hear are those five notes in the cello part, over and over again until the end of time.
He did write some great music though. Here’s a sample:
Chaconne in F minor

Hexachordum Apollinis – #6, “Sebaldina”