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8.550156 - TELEMANN, G.P.: Recorder Suite in A Minor / Viola Concerto / Tafelmusik: 2 Concertos (Capella Istropolitana, Edlinger)
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 - 1767)
Concerto in G major for viola and strings
Georg Philipp Telemann was among the most distinguished composers of his time, a rival to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach in reputation, and the certain preference of the Leipzig authorities for the position of Kantor at the school of St, Thomas, where Bach was eventually appointed in 1723. Telemann had, in 1721, taken the position of Kantor of the Johanneum in Hamburg, with musical responsibility for the five principal churches of the city. His negotiations with Leipzig a year later proved the means to secure better conditions in Hamburg, where he remained until his death in 1767. He was succeeded by his godson, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, son of Johann Sebastian.
Born in Magdeburg in 1781, Telemann belonged to a family that had long been connected with the Lutheran Church. His father was a clergyman and his mother the daughter of a clergyman, and his elder brother also took orders, a path that he too might have followed, had it not been for his exceptional musical ability. As a child he showed some precocity, but it was while he was a student at Leipzig University, which he entered in 1701, that a career in music became inevitable. He founded the university collegium musicum that Bach was later to direct and in 1703 became musical director of the Leipzig Opera. At the same time he involved fellow-students in a great deal of public performance, to the annoyance of the Thomaskantor, Bach's immediate predecessor Kuhnau, who saw his prerogative now infringed.
After Leipzig Telemann went on to become Kapellmeister to the Count of Promnitz, a nobleman with a taste for French music, and in 1708 moved to Eisenach, following this with a position as director of music to the city of Frankfurt am Main in 1712. There were other offers of employment elsewhere, but it was to Hamburg that he finally moved in 1721, to remain there for the rest of his life.
As a composer Telemann was prolific, providing an enormous body of work, both sacred and secular. This included 1043 church cantatas and settings of the Passion for each year that he was in Hamburg, 46 in all. In Leipzig he had written operas, and he continued to involve himself in public performances in Hamburg, arousing some opposition from the city council, his employers. Once he had strengthened his position he took additional responsibility as musical director of the Hamburg opera, while he was active in publishing and selling much of the music that he wrote.
The G major Viola Concerto is a good example of the attractions of Telemann's style as a composer, its four short movements suggesting the beginnings of the style galant that was to prevail over the contrapuntal complexities of the late Baroque. The Concerto for three violins and the Concerto for two horns form part of the Musique de table, published in Hamburg in 1733, while the A minor Recorder Suite is an equally fluent example of the refreshing lightness of touch that Telemann brought to the music of the period, a reflection, often enough, of his wider educational background and cultural interests more typical among musicians of a later age.
The soloists in this recording, Jiři Stivin, Ladislav Kyselak, Anna Hoelblingova, Quido Hoelbling, Alexander Jablokov , Zdeněk & Bedřich Tyšlar are members of the Capella Istropolitana.
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