Toccata in e
by Johann Pachelbel [playing time 1:59]  [Download the MP3]

Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)

Popular today for his Canon in D, Pachelbel also enjoyed great popularity during his lifetime. After the personal tragedy of losing his wife and son to the plague in 1683, he remarried and two of his sons went on to become minor composers in their own right. Pachelbel wrote several hundred works, mostly for use in the church, including many chorales and fugues. They are by and large quite accessible, both to the ear and in their modest technical demands on the performer.

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Here's a brief organ work by Pachelbel. It is quite representative of his writing, from the opening manual flourish to the use repeated motives and a slowly moving pedal line. Employed throughout his career as a church musician, Pachelbel wrote some hundreds of works in this style.

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