Georg Philipp Telemann

(1681 - 1767)

German composer and organist. Self-taught by study of scores (especially those of Lully and Campra). Organist, Neuekirche, Leipzig, 1704, having already written several operas. Kapellmeister at Eisenach 1708-1712, moving then to Frankfurt. In 1721, went to Hamburg as Kantor of the Johanneum and musical director of the 5 main churces. 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 musical director of the Opera.

Extremely prolific composer, skilled in counterpoint and of great facility. Among his voluminous output, which included 600 overtures in the Italian style, 44 Passions, 12 complete services, and 40 operas, and the following:

Operas: Pimpone (1725); Der geduldige Sokrates (1721).

Oratorios: Der Tag des Gerichts, Die Tageszeiten, Der Tod Jesu, Die Auferstenhung Christi, St. Luke Passion (1728, 1744), St. Mark Passion (1759), St. Matthew Passion (1730).

Cantatas: Cantata oder Trauer-Musik eines kunsterfahrenen Kanarien-Vogels; Der Schulmeister; Die Landlust; In dulci jubilo.

Orchestrations: Tafelmusik I, II, and III; Suite, Don Quichotte, strings and basso continuo; La Lyra, suite in Eb, strings and basso continuo.

Concertos: 3 trumpets, drums, 2 oboes, strings, basso continuo; in G for violin, strings, basso continuo; A minor for concertino violin, strings, basso continuo; C major, 2 violins, strings; E minor, flute, strings; E minor, 2 flutes, violin, strings; E minor, oboe, strings; A major, oboe d'amore, strings; A minor, treble recorder, viola da gamba, strings; D major for D trumpet, strings; D major, horn, strings; C major, 4 violins; G major, 4 violins; 12, 12-part quartets. Also many trio sonatas, suites, flute quartets, etc.

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