Alle Menschen Müssen Sterben. Music of Johann Pachelbel

by Anton Batagov

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Bob Spector Baroque theme-and-variation pieces -- but neither dry nor repetitive. Batagov makes them sing, with lines both flowing and precise. Give them a couple of hearings, and they'll engage your emotions like -- do I risk heresy here? -- the Goldberg Variations. (And if those don't engage your emotions, you haven't been paying attention!) Favorite track: Fantasia in D minor.
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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 20th 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 20th 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.

Anton Batagov


released October 29, 2015

Recording, mixing, editing: July - August 2015, New York
Recorded on 1932 Steinway Model M Medium Grand Piano
Produced by Anton Batagov
Mastered by Alexander Mikhlin
Cover photo by Anna Zyabreva


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FANCYMUSIC Moscow, Russia

FANCYMUSIC is a record label focused on contemporary new music recordings. FANCYMUSIC is a broad platform for a wide variety of contemporary new music composed by different russian musicians. FANCYMUSIC is also a platform on which newer names may be encountered. ... more

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