On a Theme of Charles Theodore Pachelbel  - (2024)   

for organ

For Chris Walchesky, Director of Music and Organist,
St. Philip's Church, Charleston


Aside from a now-available Magnificat which has been preserved and performed in various editions, there was mention of a melody found in Pachelbel student's manuscript as may be seen in the Rockefeller Library Collections page Colonial Williamsburg. The document is a hand manuscript of Peter Pelham, student of Carl Theodore Pachelbel, of 34 pages. The inscription states “Lessons received on the spinnet from Peter Pelham” (November 1744 through January 1745.) The older manuscript was transcribed and embellishments added.



As Pachelbel was in the position of today's music director, I thought it apt to include both names spanning such centuries in light of the "foreword" to Psalm 46, which states "for the director of music." Indeed, and apt for millennia as works are added to this wonder to Western culture. The opening has a small gesture to introduce Pachelebel's theme prior to its development into a longer work.




After melodic variation, the theme is treated in fugal manner and with additional imitative gestures for the joy of "playing."



An MP3 of the work will be posted at a later date.


The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this organ score.


On a Theme of Charles Theodore Pachelbel