Canon in D major
Johann Pachelbel

17

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Pachelbel is the one-hit wonder of the classical world. He's up one place

Although not exactly embraced in its own time, Pachelbel's Canon in D is now one of the most popular classical pieces in the world.

The Johann Pachelbel we know and love today principally for this work, originally called the Kanon und Gigue fur drei Violinen mit Generalbass ('Canon and Gigue for three violins and basso continuo') in his native Nerumberg German was not famous for this one jaunty work in his lifetime. Instead the Canon was rediscovered by the masses and raised onto a pedestal only in the 20th century, after being published by a German scholar in an article about Pachelbel.

The Canon's huge popularity at weddings may originally stem from one unsupported theory that it was originally written for the nuptials of Johann Sebastian Bach's brother, Johann Cristoph.