Joseph Payne: Johann Pachelbel Keyboard Suites CD Track Listing

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Joseph Payne Johann Pachelbel Keyboard Suites
The repertory of seventeenth-century German harpsichord music stands\ngenerally under French influence, and the suite is the most important\ncategory. Contributions to the genre were made from all over Germany, as the\noutstanding composers of the day extended the dance types into a uniform\n'classical' pattern. Now the traditional allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue\nprovided a unifying framework, unlike the format of older French contemporaries.\nChambonnieres (1602-72), for example, treated the dance movements only as\ncomponents of a large group of pieces in the same key.\n\nThe present programme is drawn from a collection of 21 suites, based mostly on\na manuscript of 1693 attributed to Pachelbel by Max Seiffert. They were not part of\nthe three printed collections which appeared during Pachelbel's lifetime, but belong\nto a body of source material, destroyed during World War II, that also contained\nsome spurious material. Nevertheless, on the basis of circumstantial evidence,\nthese suites were included in Seiffert's publication of Pachelbel's complete keyboard\nworks in 1901.\n\nPresumably written while Pachelbel was in Gotha, the music reflects the contemporary\nGerman conception of the suite as well as his immersion in French\n*clavecin* style, perhaps through a study of the music of Froberger. Of course, the\nspirit and letter of ornamentation are decidedly French, but there is less emphasis \non the *agrements* while rhythms are more angular and harmonies fuller.\n\nAmong Pachelbel's keyboard works, these suites are unusual in several respects.\nFirst, they were among the first anywhere to augment the standardised set of\ndances with the insertion of trendier and newer forms from the court of Versailles.\nDances such as the Gavotte (Nos.25, 28 and 36) and Ballett (No.33) usually\nappeared between the courante and sarabande. Then there are idiomatic traits of\nwriting (for example, the suggestion of *style brise* - the 'broken style' - that\ncreates an illusion of contrapuntal independence in homophonic passages) that \ndiscourage performance on the organ. This is quite unlike the approach to texture in\nPachelbel's other keyboard works, where performance on either harpsichord or\norgan is seemly. Curiously, while several movements contain *doubles*, 'partita,' the\npreferred German term for 'suite,' which carries with it the idea of variation, is not\nused in Seiffert's text. Nothing about the original titles is known. (Significantly, the\nfirst use of the term 'suite', in connection with the keyboard, is generally credited to\nthe *Musicalische Clavier-Kunst und Vorrathskammer* (1713) by Johann Heinrich\nButtstedt - an important pupil of Johann Pachelbel at Erfurt.)\n\nAlong with works such as the preludes and fugues of J.K.F. Fischer's *Ariadne\nMusica* (1702), Pachelbel's suites are important forerunners of Bach's *Well-\nTempered Clavier*. Each is in a different key, covering seventeen in the circle of\nkeys. (It serves here to remember that the term 'well-tempered' refers to the many\n'circulating' temperaments prevalent during the 17th and 18th centuries and not to\n'equal temperament'.) Seiffert's ordering of the suites does not delineate either the\ncircle of fifths or a stepwise key progression, and the original sequence of the manu-\nscript is not known. The order in this recording is arranged so as to reveal the\nprogressive 'acidity' in the tuning of the well-tempered tuning system, and 'to make\na pleasing variety' (Werckmeister, 1697), as the various triadic concords become\nmore or less abundant. The listener will readily perceive the distinctive elegance of\nthe tuning used here, a recipe devised by Francesco Vallotti in 1783, as it imbues \neach key with its own peculiar flavour.\n\nFinally, notwithstanding Pachelbel's proclivity for the contemporary custom\ngiven to titles bearing metaphorical, programmatic allusions (e.g. *Hexachordum\nApollinis, Musicalische Sterbensgedancken*), it is noteworthy that no ascription is\ngiven this collection.\n\nThese and other relatively insignificant particulars emphasize, cumulatively,\nthese suites' disparateness within the larger body of Pachelbel's keyboard works,\nthus perhaps weakening the plausibility of Seiffert's attribution. Later scholarship,\nmoreover, including that of Willi Apel in his indispensable reference work(1), has\nheld Seiffert's unabashed attribution to be inconclusive; the authenticity of only\nthree suites (Nos.29, 32, and 33B) is firmly established. With an obvious lack of\nenthusiasm for them, Apel determined that 'their style is on a level with the suites\nof Schultheiss, Johann Krieger and Buxtehude.' Furthermore, he then relegated\nthe remaining 'anonymous' works to a further limbo of qualitative inferiority.\n\nBut in the long run, the uncertain genesis of these suites may prove to be an\ninsignificant factor with respect to their ultimate acceptance as an integral part of\nthe Pachelbel canon. It is apparent, through even a cursory first hearing, that they\nare, as a whole, musically more substantive than Apel's judment would imply.\nOddly, in fact, many of the 'anonymous' suites attain a high degree of interest and\nsome are, arguably, more attractive than the authenticated ones. The melodic writ-\ning is particualrly expressive. French delicacy and clarity are never wanting in the\nallemandes, even when they 'lack the semiquaver figures that are usual in this\ntype.' There is some striking harmonic emphasis, with chromatic changes support-\ning rhythmic shifts and inflections (No.26, Courante: Bar 3, for example), while\nserious lyric expression will be found in the sarabands. (No.29 with its *double*\nstands as a worthy precursor to the saraband of Bach's *Third English Suite*.) The\ninserted optional dances contain surprises, notably a winsome echo passage (No.33,\nBallett) and a *petite reprise* (No.27, Gavott). The gigues mix elements from Italian\nand French models, and feature sequentially running figures in even note values\n(No.29) as well as dotted rhythms in duple metre (No.34). All in all, this body of\nmaterial gives ample testimony to the expansion of music in the seventeenth cent-\nury, both with respect to quantity as well as variety, and toward the establishment\nof the keyboard suite as a major form.\n\nQuite possibly, this collection might prove, eventually, to be the work of several\ncomposers - a case of many hands having stirred the pot. One movement has been\nidentified as by Johann Jakob Froberger, and there are surely other cuckoos in the\nnest. But barring a breakthrough in the emergence of additional or corroborating\nmaterial, such notions will remain limited to the sphere of conjecture. No doubt,\nmuch remains to be gathered in the way of internal stylistic evidence. This is the\ndomain of a new generation of scholars, namely Kathryn Welter and Michael\nBelotti, and the new editions (2) of Pachelbel's works currently in preparation.\n\n (c) Joseph Payne 1996\n\n1 Apel, Willi: *Geschichte der Orgel- und Klaviermusik bis 1700*. Kassel, 1967, Eng.\ntrans., p.660.\n2 Pachelbel, Johann: *The Complete Works for Organ and Keyboard*. Edited by\nMichael Belotti. Wayne Leupold Editions, Boston, 1996.
This classical cd contains 42 tracks and runs 74min 24sec.
Freedb: 83116e2a


: Music



  1. Joseph Payne - Suite in F major (No.32)/Allemand (02:51)
  2. Joseph Payne - Suite in F major (No.32)/Courant (01:45)
  3. Joseph Payne - Suite in F major (No.32)/Saraband (01:44)
  4. Joseph Payne - Suite in D minor (No.26)/Allemand (03:37)
  5. Joseph Payne - Suite in D minor (No.26)/Courant (01:32)
  6. Joseph Payne - Suite in D minor (No.26)/Saraband (01:52)
  7. Joseph Payne - Suite in D minor (No.26)/Gyque (01:53)
  8. Joseph Payne - Suite in G major (No.34)/Allemand (01:53)
  9. Joseph Payne - Suite in G major (No.34)/Courant (01:20)
  10. Joseph Payne - Suite in G major (No.34)/Saraband (01:28)
  11. Joseph Payne - Suite in G major (No.34)/Gyque (02:21)
  12. Joseph Payne - Suite in G minor (No.33)/Allemand (02:23)
  13. Joseph Payne - Suite in G minor (No.33)/Courant (01:19)
  14. Joseph Payne - Suite in G minor (No.33)/Ballett (01:00)
  15. Joseph Payne - Suite in G minor (No.33)/Sarabanda (01:20)
  16. Joseph Payne - Suite in G minor (No.33)/Gyque (01:31)
  17. Joseph Payne - Suite in G minor (No.33B)/Allemand I (02:06)
  18. Joseph Payne - Suite in G minor (No.33B)/Allemand II (02:00)
  19. Joseph Payne - Suite in G minor (No.33B)/Courant (01:09)
  20. Joseph Payne - Suite in G minor (No.33B)/Saraband (01:24)
  21. Joseph Payne - Suite in C major (No.25)/Allemand (02:01)
  22. Joseph Payne - Suite in C major (No.25)/Courant (01:23)
  23. Joseph Payne - Suite in C major (No.25)/Gavott (00:55)
  24. Joseph Payne - Suite in C major (No.25)/Saraband (01:50)
  25. Joseph Payne - Suite in C major (No.25)/Gyque (01:45)
  26. Joseph Payne - Suite in A major (No.36)/Allemand (02:01)
  27. Joseph Payne - Suite in A major (No.36)/Le double (02:10)
  28. Joseph Payne - Suite in A major (No.36)/Courant (01:47)
  29. Joseph Payne - Suite in A major (No.36)/Gavott (01:05)
  30. Joseph Payne - Suite in A major (No.36)/Saraband (01:22)
  31. Joseph Payne - Suite in A major (No.36)/Gyque (01:35)
  32. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.28)/Allemand (02:17)
  33. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.28)/Courant (01:24)
  34. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.28)/Gavott (00:38)
  35. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.28)/Saraband I (01:18)
  36. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.28)/Saraband II (01:20)
  37. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.28)/Gyque (01:20)
  38. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.29)/Allemand (03:16)
  39. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.29)/Courant (01:42)
  40. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.29)/Saraband (01:30)
  41. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.29)/Le double (01:32)
  42. Joseph Payne - Suite in E minor (No.29)/Gigue (03:26)

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