Johann Pachelbel is the dominating personality of the organ and keyboard in Central Germany during the late 17th century, whereas his contemporary Buxtehude took over the leadership in Northern Germany. Both masters are the main sources of Bach's intrumental art, which reconciles their stylistic and formal features on a higher plane.
Pachelbel asserted himself above all as the master of "severe" forms, such as the figured Chorale, the chorale Variation, and the Suite and the Variation. He was born at Nuremberg on September 1st, 1653, in a family from Eger, Bohemia. Little is known about his youth and training.
Although he wrote Cantatas and Motets, as well as chamber music, his main creative activity concerned keyboard music (for Organ and Harpsichord). Only three collections were published in print during his lifetime. Hexachordum Apollinis, his only collection of secular music, was published in 1699.
These are six sets of Variations for harpsichord on six Arias in various keys (mostly minor). These Arias are brief and simple song-like melodies in binary form. With the possible exception of #6 (Aria Sebaldina), which may have been related to the tradition of the St. Sebaldus Church, they seem to be of Pachelbel's free invention. Thus, alonside with Pasquini, he seems to have been one of the first composers to vary original instead of preexistant tunes. The beauty of the melodic invention, the variety of rhythmic metamorphoses, the noble elegiac mood of this piece add up to one of the most exquisite masterpieces of the kind.
The Six Strings of Apollo (1699)
Marga Scheurich - Cembalo
1. Aria 1 d-minor
2. Aria 2 e-minor
3. Aria 3 F-major
4. Aria 4 g-minor
5. Aria 5 a-minor
6. Aria 6 f-minor "Aria Sebaldina"
7. Chaconne f-minor