Work: Concerto for Trumpet in D major, TV 51 no D 7
About This Work
Composed sometime between 1710 and 1720, certainly before the composer moved to Hamburg in 1721 to take up the duties of music director of the latter city's five largest churches, Georg Philipp Telemann's only concerto for trumpet, the Concerto in D
major for trumpet, violins, and basso continuo, is a sparkling, seven- or eight-minute piece. It is among the first solo trumpet concertos penned by a German composer -- indeed, some scholars believe that it may even be the very first such work.
The sonata da chiesa, with its four-movement, slow-fast-slow-fast plan, is the blueprint that Telemann uses for the concerto. By comparison with some of the music written for solo trumpet nowadays, the Telemann concerto might not sound particularly demanding or flashy; but we must bear in mind that Telemann's solo instrument was not the facile modern valved trumpet but rather the longer valveless Baroque trumpet -- an instrument with a comparatively limited selection of pitches at the ready (essentially the overtone series). So, while the trumpet truly takes center stage in the opening Adagio, not even allowing the violins to take up anything even remotely resembling a melody, it is forced to make frequent pauses during the following Allegro, in which the music grows faster and more exhausting (happily, these pauses fit in well with the general ritornello form of the movement); the violins leap on these opportunities to grab the theme. The third movement, a Grave in B minor, is for the violins and basso continuo alone. Having rested a movement, the trumpet returns, brightly and joyously, in the Allegro finale.
-- Blair Johnston
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