Johann Pachelbel

(1653 - 1706)

Johann Pachelbel - Prague Classical ConcertsJohann Pachelbel (September 1, 1653 - March 9, 1706) was born in Nuremberg, then one of the so-called "free" imperial cities and a great center of learning and culture, a took instructions from Heinrich Schwemmer. After leaving school in 1669, he spent a year in Altdorf before moving to Regensburg where he began to make valuable contacts with musicians associated with the Austrian Court in Vienna. By 1673 he was living in Vienna, where he was deputy organist at St. Stephen's Cathedral and took music lessons with Johann Kaspar Kerll, who fashioned Pachelbel's sophisticated organ style. The younger man often deputized for Kerll on the organ of the Predigerkirche.

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In 1677 Pachelbel left Vienna and began a peripatetic period in his life where he held the organ position in churches in many towns across the central and southern German states, including Eisenach and Erfurt (where he came into contact with the Bach family, including Ambrosius Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach's father), Stuttgart and Gotha. He remained in Gotha from 1692-95, then return to his home city of Nuremburg, this time on a substantially different footing than when he had left it; Pachelbel was by now a famous and influential figure in the world of music, his especial skill in composition – his infinitely inventive creation of chorale variations stressing the importance of cantabile and clarity of line – proving especially popular and definitive in the world of organ music at that time. His many pupils included Johann Sebastian Bach's elder brother Johann Christoph, who was one of many to digest his methodology and carry his compositional message to others.

Pachelbel had return to Nuremberg to succeed to his old teacher Georg Kaspar Wecker at the church of St. Sebaldus, a position he retained until his death at the age of 52. Most of his music was written for the organ, but some of his earliest surviving works are a set of motets including Nun danket alle Gott and Der Herr ist König, written during his time in Erfurt, which are a models of clarity and tunefulness. His greatest compositional achievement is generally recognized to be the Hexachordum Apollinis of 1699, six sets of keyboard variations on various aria, but other worthy efforts include Musikalische Stephens-Gedanken of 1683 and the Musikalische Ergötzung (1695), a series of dance suites written for string trio which were meant for the type of domestic entertainment at court or among musical colleagues supplied in a later generation by Georg Philipp Telemann's Tafelmusik. It would seem that the famed Canon and Gigue for three violins and bass continuo was probably written for a similar Hausmusik function; its orchestration occurred much later.

Upcoming classical concerts of the composer's music in Prague:

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Pearls of Classical Music in Prague Castle - Lobkowicz Palace

    Time: 13:00
    Prague Castle, Lobkowicz Palace

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Concert at Prague Castle - Mozart, Vivaldi and Pachelbel

    Time: 17:30
    Prague Castle, St. George's Basilica

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Famous organ works and duets for soprano and trumpet

    Time: 18:00
    St. Nicholas Church in the Old Town Square

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Classic Spectacular in Mirror Chapel

    Time: 18:00
    Klementinum, Mirror Chapel

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Bolero, Carmina Burana

    Time: 19:00
    Spanish Synagogue

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Famous Ave Maria for Soprano and Violin

    Time: 19:00
    St. Francis Church

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Mozart Dinner - Your private opera in Prague

    Time: 19:00
    Boccaccio Ballroom

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Vivaldi - The Four Seasons

    Time: 19:00
    Klementinum, St. Clement's Cathedral

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Classic Spectacular

    Time: 19:30
    Church of Our Lady before Tyn (Tyn Church)

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Sarasate - Gypsy Airs op. 20

    Time: 20:00
    Municipal House (Obecní dům), Smetana hall

  • May 28 Tuesday
    Afrikania

    Time: 20:00
    Image - Black Light Theatre

  • May 28 Tuesday
    The Four Seasons, Emperor Concerto & Chopin in Mirror Chapel

    Time: 20:00
    Klementinum, Mirror Chapel

  • May 29 Wednesday
    Pearls of Classical Music in Prague Castle - Lobkowicz Palace

    Time: 13:00
    Prague Castle, Lobkowicz Palace

  • May 29 Wednesday
    Great Baroque and Classical Music

    Time: 18:00
    St. Nicholas Church in the Old Town Square

  • May 29 Wednesday
    Classic Spectacular in Mirror Chapel

    Time: 18:00
    Klementinum, Mirror Chapel

  • May 29 Wednesday
    The Best of World and Czech Music

    Time: 19:00
    Spanish Synagogue

  • May 29 Wednesday
    Ave Maria, Alleluja and Czech Music

    Time: 19:00
    St. Francis Church

  • May 29 Wednesday
    Classic Spectacular

    Time: 19:30
    Klementinum, St. Salvator Church (Charles Bridge)

  • May 29 Wednesday
    The Best of Classics

    Time: 20:00
    Municipal House (Obecní dům), Smetana hall

  • May 29 Wednesday
    The Best of Image

    Time: 20:00
    Image - Black Light Theatre