Pachelbel: Beyond the Canon with Amandine Beyer

Johann Pachelbel

Do you know Pachelbel? Sure you do. Like probably most of the population of the Western world, from his famous Canon and Gigue in D, as the Canon is one of the most popular pieces played at weddings (and by street musicians).

Now do you know anything else from Pachelbel? Well, I must admit, I really didn’t. In my entire classical music library, I have the sad number of 15 tracks from this composer, pretty much entirely on some Baroque compilations.

So I was curious when Amandine Beyer with her ensemble Gli Incognito recently released an entire Pachelbel album.

Pachelbel: Un Orage d’Avril (Harmonia Mundi 2016)

Pachelbel: Un orage d'avril - Amandine Beyer - Gli Incogniti - Hans-Jörg Bammel Harmonia Mundi 2016

Well, I was positively surprised. This is mainly instrumental baroque musique, with the occasional song (beautifully performed by tenor Hans-Jörg Mammel) thrown in.

Let’s admit it, baroque music  can be boring. Sometimes it is just a bit too repetitive, to formalized, too much of the same (e.g. quite a bit of Vivaldi’s massive oeuvre IMHO). So it usually takes a genius like Bach to break out of the conventions of baroque music to really make it interesting (and even he doesn’t always succeed).

And obviously, Pachelbel is no Bach, probably not even a Vivaldi. That said, I still think there is enough to discover on this album that I highly recommend you to check it out.

A brief comment on Amandine Beyer: I sometimes find the sound of her violin a bit too “rough” for my taste (e.g. on her celebrated recording of the Four Seasons) This is nicely enough not the case here, the album is quite well recorded.

Give it a try!

My rating: 4 stars

You can find it here (Qobuz) and here (Prestoclassical)