Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) was a German composer, organist and teacher who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.
A ricercar, also spelled ricercare, recercar, recercare, is a type of late Renaissance and mostly early Baroque instrumental composition.
The term means to search out; a ricercar may explore the permutations of a given motif, and in that regard may follow the piece used as illustration.
This ricercare by Pachelbel can be described as imitative and contrapuntal. This type of ricercares first appeared in the middle part of the sixteenth century, and developed to the fugue and parallel to the motet, with which it shared many of its imitative procedures.
Some Baroque works which are indistinguishable from fugues were called "ricercars" even as late as Bach, with the difference that the note values were generally longer and the character slightly more serious.
This ricercare of Pachelbel is a fine example, I think!
It is divided in 3 sections, so 3 fugues pass by, and all three are highly chromatic.
1st section: Praestant 8'/Viola 8' (BP)
2nd section: Regaal 8'/Fluit 4'/Fluit 2'
3rd section: small Plenum (HW), later full Plenum (RW) + Pedaal