Pachelbel Organ Works
From the entry in the Gramophone Compact Disc Catalogue you could get the impression that Pachelbel was a one-work composer. While the undeniably lovely Canon is lavishly represented the meagre sprinkling of other pieces doesn't begin to do justice to his output of instrumental and choral works and utterly fails to reflect the significant position he held in German baroque music. All praise, then, to Virgin for having sufficient faith in Pachelbel's stature to devote an entire CD to his music.
In the field of organ music Pachelbel was unquestionably one of the most important composers of chorale preludes, developing models which the younger J. S. Bach readily took up. His larger works, however, have tended to be overshadowed by those of his contemporary Buxtehude and many of the forms he employed soon fell out of fashion among his successors. This selection of organ music provides an admirably representative cross-section of his varied output for the instrument.
Werner Jacob is the perfect choice of performer. Not only is there the happy coincidence that he now occupies the same post that Pachelbel did in Nuremburg, but his stature as an interpreter of baroque music ensures that these performances have great authority and conviction. On the grounds that Nuremburg no longer possesses an instrument able to produce an authentic sound for Pachelbel's music, Jacob has chosen one built in 1833 by an Alsatian builder. Whether this makes a truly 'authentic' sound is beside the point; it makes a marvellous and majestic one which has been vividly recorded. Full marks to producer Heinz Wildhagen for taking the trouble to maintain the sound of the organ blower and general atmosphere of the building between each track: the continual fading out of ambience and back-ground noise so often spoils organ recordings.
With this single well-filled and splendidly recorded disc of superlative performances, Virgin have made a valuable contribution to the recorded literature of baroque music.'