Johann Pachelbel was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought 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 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, the only canon he wrote – although a true canon at the unison in three parts, it is often regarded more as a passacaglia, 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. 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.
Compositions by Johann Pachelbel appear on
So just what does one play to demonstrate the resources of a large, beautifully voiced new organ? Douglas Lawrence has tried here to show something of the immensely wide tonal palette available on the Rieger organ at The Scots' Church in Melbourne, completed in 1999.
Volume 2 in this series of stunning performances by Christopher Dearnley and John Stiller on seven more of the historic church organs of the Barossa Valley.
Stunning performances by Christopher Dearnley and John Stiller on six of the historic church organs of the Barossa Valley. Includes a 16 page booklet giving a history of the organs in the Barossa area, their builders and the music.
Douglas Lawrence and the Manila Chamber Orchestra. Manila's suburb of Las Piñas boasts the world's only organ with pipes made from bamboo. As well as demonstrating the full potential of the instrument with different solo pieces and Handel's Organ Concerto in G minor, Douglas Lawrence interviews the organ's restorer.
The Choir of Ormond College presents a wonderfully varied selection of Christmas carols, 28 joyous tracks in all. Directed by Douglas Lawrence
Douglas Lawrence plays a feast of baroque master works on the acclaimed Ahrend organ of Monash University's Robert Blackwood Hall.
Douglas Lawrence plays the Ronald Sharp Organ at Ormond College, Melbourne. An excellent disc of favourite organ works by Pachelbel, Buxtehude, Schiedt, Camidge and Greene.
Celebrate the theme and the variations of Christmas with harpist Megan Reeve as she explores Christmas music from around the world and across the ages.