Today the spotlight falls on Johann Pachelbel‘s Kanon und Gigue in D-Dur für drei Violinen und Basso Continuo, featured in the 2006 animated series Kanon.
Canon in D major was used at various points throughout the series, but it figures most prominently in Episode 14 (“A Cracked Concerto”). Sayuri and Yuuichi discuss the piece over afternoon tea from approximately 15:36 (ADV R1 DVD timestamp). A version of the piece can be heard in the background as the scene plays out.
Sayuri: Do you know the name of this song?
Yuuichi: No, although I’ve heard it often.
Sayuri: It’s Canon. Pachelbel’s Canon.
Sayuri: The same melody repeats itself, and gradually grows richer as the chords harmonise beautifully together. Wouldn’t it be great if we could live lives that didn’t seem to change, but we could also make gradual changes, just like the song?
Yuuichi: Yeah, that’s true.
Sayuri: Maybe one day, remembering Kazuya won’t only be with sadness.
Numerous variations on Pachelbel’s original piece (first written c. 1680) have been composed through the centuries, ranging from beautiful renditions in true classical form to more recent punk-rock arrangements set to drums and electric guitars. Two orchestral settings are provided here for your listening pleasure. The first is from a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra, while the second comes to us from the Slovak Chamber Orchestra.
Memento – summary of Episode 14 (with screencaps) and a brief, but interesting, rant about the piece
Random Curiosity – summary of Episode 14 (with screencaps); not much is said about the piece itself