Johann Pachelbel is well known as an organist and as the composer of the famous 'Canon'. While most of his organ works have been recorded by renowned organists, Pachelbel's sacred vocal works are virtually unknown. Some may be familiar with his motets, but the great majority of his psalm concertos and cantatas for large vocal forces are almost entirely unknown. And yet these may be judged the most important works which Pachelbel wrote, for their influence can clearly be heard in the works of Handel and Bach.
The highlight of these works is the setting of the 150th psalm 'Lobet den Herrn in seinem Heiligtum' (Praise ye the Lord in his sanctuary). The psalm text mentions numerous instruments and is therefore ideal for setting to music. Unlike his colleagues, Johann Pachelbel scored his work for all those instruments mentioned in the text, resulting in a work for 5 vocalists, strings, oboes, bassoon, recorders, harp(!), 5 trumpets(!), kettle-drums and basso continuo. He even altered the psalm text slightly to justify the trumpets and kettle-drums, making this a perfect example of Baroque musical splendour featuring lavish sound painting and elevating the genre of 'psalm concerto' to new heights.