About this Recording
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
Suite in A minor for recorder and strings
Concerto in F major for three violins (from Musique de table)
Concerto for two horns and strings (from Musique de table)

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.

Capella Istropolitana
The Capella Istropolitana was founded in 1983 by members of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, at first as a chamber orchestra and then as an orchestra large enough to tackle the standard classical repertoire. Based in Bratislava, its name drawn from the ancient name still preserved in the Academia Istropolitana, the historic university established in the Slovak and one-time Hungarian capital by Matthias Corvinus, the orchestra works principally in the recording studio. Recordings by the orchestra on the Naxos label include The Best of Baroque Music, Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, fifteen each of Mozart's and Haydn's symphonies as well as works by Handel, Vivaldi and Telemann.

The soloists in this recording, Jiři Stivin, Ladislav Kyselak, Anna Hoelblingova, Quido Hoelbling, Alexander Jablokov , Zdeněk & Bedřich Ty┼ílar are members of the Capella Istropolitana.

Richard Edlinger
The Austrian conductor Richard Edlinger was born in Bregenz in 1958 and directed his first concert at the age of seventeen. In 1982 he completed his studies in conducting and composition at the Vienna Academy, having by then already acquired considerable professional experience on the podium. He was the youngest finalist in the 1983 Guido Cantelli Conductors' Competition at La Scala, Milan, and since 1986 he has been Artistic Director of the Capella Istropolitana, an orchestra with which he has undertaken various European tours. Richard Edlinger has made recent appearances with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the George Enescu Philharmonic, the orchestra of La Scala, Milan, and the RTSI Orchestra in Lugano. In 1987 he was appointed Music Director of the Kamptal Festival in Austria.

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