Australia-based Stringspace string quartet musicians performing Pachelbel’s Canon in D major. A beautiful rendition of the famous Baroque piece.
Pachelbel’s Canon remained forgotten for centuries like most other works by Pachelbel and other pre-1700 composers, and was rediscovered only in the 20th century, and became extremely popular.
Pachelbel composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his creations enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany.
This baroque piece was particularly prevalent in the pop charts of the 1990s, being sampled and appropriated in numerous commercial hits such as Pet Shop Boys’ cover of “Go West”, Coolio’s “C U When U Get There”, Green Day’s “Basket Case”, and Dire Straits’ “Tunnel of love”.
It is one of the most popular pieces of Baroque music and is often played at weddings and other formal occasions.
Johann Pachelbel 1653-1706) was a German composer, organist, and teacher who brought the south German organ schools to their 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; other 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.
He was influenced by southern German composers, such as Johann Jakob Froberger and Johann Caspar 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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