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Pachelbel’s Canon

Welcome back to Austin wedding music / San Antonio wedding music 101! Today we’re discussing one of the most famous and powerful pieces of classical music that is frequently played at modern weddings.

Pachelbel’s Canon by German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel was originally scored for three violins and basso continuo and paired with a gigue in the same key. Like most other works by pre-1700 composers, the Canon remained forgotten for centuries and was rediscovered only in the 20th century. Several decades after it was first published in 1919, the piece became extremely popular. The Canon was first recorded in 1940 by Arthur Fiedler, and a recording of the piece was made by the Jean-François Paillard chamber orchestra.

Although Pachelbel was renowned in his lifetime for his chamber works, most of them were lost. Only Musikalische Ergötzung, a collection of partitas published during Pachelbel’s lifetime, is known, and a few isolated pieces in manuscripts. Canon and Gigue in D major is one such piece. A single, 19th-century manuscript copy of it survives in the Berlin State Library, which contains two more chamber suites. The circumstances of the piece’s composition are wholly unknown. One writer hypothesized that the Canon may have been composed for Johann Christoph Bach’s wedding in 1694, which Pachelbel attended. The music for the occasion was provided by Johann Ambrosius Bach, Pachelbel, and other friends and family members. Johann Christoph Bach, the oldest brother of Johann Sebastian Bach, was a former pupil of Pachelbel.

If you’re planning an office event, chamber concert, wedding ceremony or special event that calls for professional Austin wedding music or San Antonio wedding music, please contact us so we can help. Our performances can range to include the trumpet, violin, cello, string quartet, and so much more! From traditional wedding music to contemporary choices, we provide the perfect setting for that special event.

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