Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) was one of the last and one of the most famous composers of the so called “South German” school of organists and organ composers. The organs of the South German school were smaller than the North German organs and the compositions for southern organs reflected this. These organists and composers lived, studied and worked in southern Germany, Austria and northern Italy. Leading South German school organist-composers include Johann Froberger, Johann Kerll, Johann Rosenmuller, Georg Muffatt as well as Pachelbel. They were heavily influenced by Italian idioms in the style of Girolomo Frescobaldi, Giovanni de Macque and Giovanni Valentini. Their musical approach was one of melody and harmonic clarity as opposed to the complex counterpoint and harmony of northern organists such as Buxtehude and J.S.Bach. Pachelbel was a Lutheran, but the work for southern school organists (including Pachelbel) was in areas that were predominantly Roman Catholic, e.g. Vienna, Munich, Salzburg, and Nuremburg (where Pachelbel was born). As such, much of his music was for Roman Catholic liturgical services in the churches where he was employed. 

Mark LaFratta

Search our store