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Georg Philipp Telemann

(1681—1767) German composer and organist


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(b Magdeburg, 1681; d Hamburg, 1767).

Ger. composer and organist. Self‐taught by study of scores (esp. those of Lully and Campra). Org., Neuekirche, Leipzig, 1704, having already written several operas. Kapellmeister at Eisenach 1708–12, moving then to Frankfurt. In 1721 he went to Hamburg as Kantor of the Johanneum and mus. dir. of the 5 main churches. When in 1722 an attempt was made to prevent his taking part in operatic performances, he retaliated by applying for the vacant post of Kantor at the Thomaskirche, Leipzig. He was appointed, in preference to J. S. Bach, but Hamburg retained him by increasing his salary and appointing him mus. dir. of the Opera. Extremely prolific composer, skilled in counterpoint and of great facility, but his mus. has surface charm rather than depth. The best of it, however, is delightful. Among his voluminous output, which incl. 600 ovs. in the It. style, 44 Passions, 12 complete services, and 40 operas, are the following:

operas:

Pimpinone

(1725);

Der geduldige Sokrates

(1721).

oratorios:

Der Tag des Gerichts

(The Day of Judgement);

Die Tageszeiten

(The Times of Day);

Der Tod Jesu

(The Death of Jesus);

Die Auferstehung Christi

(The Resurrection of Christ);

St Luke Passion

(1728, 1744);

St Mark Passion

(1759);

St Matthew Passion

(1730).

cantatas:

Cantata oder Trauer‐Musik eines kunsterfahrenen Kanarien‐Vogels

(Funeral Music for a sweet‐singing canary);

Der Schulmeister

(The Schoolmaster);

Die Landlust

(The Joy of Country Life);

In dulci jubilo

.

orch.:

Tafelmusik

(Table Music) I, II, and III; Suite, Don Quichotte, str. and b.c.;

La Lyra

, suite in E♭, str. and b.c.; concertos: 3 tpt., drums, 2 ob., str., b.c.; in G for vn., str., b.c.; A minor for concertino vn., str., b.c.; C major, 2 vn., str.; E minor, fl., str.; E minor, 2 fl., vn., str.; E minor, ob., str.; A major, ob. d'amore, str.; A minor, treble recorder, viola da gamba, str.; D major for D tpt., str.; D major, hn., str.; C major, 4 vn.; G major, 4 vn.; 12 12‐part qts.

Also many trio sonatas, suites, fl. qts., etc.

Subjects: Music


Reference entries