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Alle Menschen Müssen Sterben
Chaconne in D major
Fantasia in D minor
Chaconne in C major
Fantasia in A minor
Alle Menschen Müssen Sterben (All Men Must Die)
Recorded on 1932 Steinway M piano
The music of Johann Pachelbel is structured like any other music written a few centuries ago. Simple chord sequences are repeated over and over again with variations giving birth to various melodies and textures and gradually revealing their magic. In the 20 th Century this compositional technique came back to life under the name of minimalism.
Johann Pachelbel (1653 – 1706), German composer and organist, received much recognition during his lifetime. He was as popular as a 20 th Century rock star. The beginning of his private life was also extremely successful: he married a beautiful woman, the mayor of Erfurt's daughter, and they had a son. However, soon afterwards his wife and son died of plague. Pachelbel's first published work was called Musicalische Sterbens-Gedanken (Musical Thoughts on Death). All his compositions from that moment were meditations on death. Step by step through this music we gain awareness of the fact that death is not the end and not a transition into non-existence. Just the opposite: it is an entrance into a space in which there are no temporary phenomena subject to suffering and decay, no parting and no fear. There is only dazzling light and love, nothing else. And our whole life is a preparation for this transition, an anticipation of this moment. We train ourselves, we learn how to live there. And finally, to arrive in that space, we must first pass the entrance exam: we must die.