Johann  Pachelbel
Chorale Partita
"Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan"


        Johann Pachelbel's Chorale Partita on "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" exemplifies southern German mid-Baroque keyboard variations, as a genre.  Pachelbel [b. 1653 in Nuremberg, d. 1706, also in Nuremberg], can be seen to have adopted – and also to have adapted to his own uses – idiomatic regional and historically practiced compositional skills.  The composer's timeline anticipates by a generation that of Johann Sebastian Bach and the culmination of the Baroque era in musical arts.  Pachelbel was a friend of the large Bach family and at one point taught music to Johann Christoph Bach (of Ohrdruf), who subsequently provided music instruction to his young second cousin, Johann Sebastian Bach.

        Pachelbel's command of variational techniques is revealed in this partita; overall the style is more traditionally conservative than in his partitas on secular tunes and melodies.  His use of a two-stave keyboard layout stems from commonly practiced regional tradition, but also serves to hint that the chorale partitas might have been intended for generic keyboard instruments, with organ – and pedaling – as one of various options. 

        This performance publication of "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" makes practical use of a three-stave organ score layout for three of the partita's movements.  It includes occasional suggestions for ad lib. ornamentation, and for the application of terraced dynamics within the repeats and phrases of each variation [see N.B., p. 9].  The tenth and concluding variation –  an abbreviated chorale fantasia – is proposed as an editorial 'improvisation' that might serve to round out the diverse collection of nine partitas, in the process bringing to mind similar fantasia-style chorale settings for keyboard  written by Pachelbel and his contemporaries – a manner later adopted by Johann Sebastian Bach.