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The Meister of Erfurt

Donald Macleod unravels the rich musical legacy of a composer known almost exclusively for one iconic work: the 'Canon in D'. Today - the composer's colourful life in Erfurt.

Donald Macleod unravels the rich musical legacy of a composer known almost exclusively for one iconic work: the "Canon in D". Today - the composer's colourful life in Erfurt.

Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) was one of the most exceptional musical minds of his generation - a composer of brilliant choral and keyboard music and a huge influence on JS Bach. Yet more than three centuries on, his reputation rests almost exclusively on one piece - his "Canon in D", one of the most famous pieces of classical music of our own age. This week, Donald Macleod delves deep into his world; exploring a raft of brilliant vocal and instrumental works and putting to bed the myth of the "one-hit wonder". We also look more closely at the iconic Canon - in a variety of fascinating, sometimes surprising arrangements.

In today's episode we track the young Pachelbel to Erfurt, where Martin Luther once studied. Alongside a brilliant setting of the Magnificat, Donald tells the curious story of how a 20th-century Frenchman with a knack for marketing turned the Canon into the popular hit we know today...

Exsurgat Deus
Cantus Cölln
Konrad Junghänel, conductor

Musikalische Ergötzung in F Major
London Baroque
Charles Medlam, director

Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne in D Minor
Werner Jacob, organ

Suite for lute solo (1st mvt - Allemande)
Ulrich Wedemeier, lute

Magnificat anima mea
Johann Rosenmüller Ensemble
Arno Paduch, conductor

Pachelbel, arr Jean-Francois Paillard
Canon in D
Jean-Francois Paillard Chamber Orchestra.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Johann Pachelbel

    Exsurgat Deus

    Conductor: Konrad Junghänel. Performer: Cantus Cölln.
    • Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
    • G010001717355S.
  • Johann Pachelbel

    Musikalische Ergötzung in F Major

    Conductor: Charles Medlam. Performer: London Baroque.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • HMC-901539.
  • Johann Pachelbel

    Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne in D Minor

    Performer: Werner Jacob.
    • VIRGIN CLASSICS.
    • VC7910872.
  • Johnann Pachelbel

    Suite for lute solo (1st movement - Allemande)

    Performer: Ulrich Wedemeier.
    • CHRISTOPHORUS.
    • CHR77257.
  • Johann Pachelbel

    Magnificat anima mea

    Conductor: Arno Paduch. Performer: Johann Rosenmüller Ensemble.
    • CHRISTOPHORUS.
    • CHR77257.
  • Johann Pachelbel

    Canon in D

    Performer: Paillard Chamber Orchestra. Music Arranger: Jean‐François Paillard.
    • RCA RED SEAL.
    • 82876-55307.

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