Georg Philipp Telemann


Born: Mar 14, 1681; Germany   Died: Jun 25, 1767; Germany   Period: Baroque
Georg Philipp Telemann was born in Magdeburg, the son of a Lutheran deacon who died in 1685, leaving the mother to raise their three children alone. The youth showed remarkable talent in music, but was temporarily discouraged in his chosen pursuit by Puritan Lutherans, who told Telemann's mother that he would turn out no better than "a clown, a tightrope walker or a marmot-trainer." In opposition to his mother's wishes, Telemann continued to Read more study in secrecy until she relented, allowing him to train under the highly respected Kantor Benedict Christiani, at the Old City School. Outside of some early lessons in reading tablature, Telemann was self-taught and was capable of playing the flute, violin, viola da gamba, oboe, trombone, double bass, and several keyboard instruments. Telemann began to write music from childhood, producing an opera, Sigismundus, by age 12.
Telemann was sent away to Zellerfeld in 1694; at the age of 20, the composer resolved to study law in Leipzig, but a chance meeting in Halle with 16-year-old Georg Friedrich Handel appears to have drawn him back to music. Telemann began writing cantatas for a church in Leipzig and quickly became a local celebrity. In 1702, he was named director of the Leipzig Opera, and over the next three years he wrote four operas specifically for this company.
Early on, Telemann's career is marked by sharp contrasts, both professionally and personally; Kapellmeister in Sorau, now part of Poland, in 1705, he only served three years before moving on to the court in Eisenach (1708-1712). In 1712 Telemann accepted an appointment in Frankfurt to the post of Kapellmeister at the Church of the Barefoot Friars and as director of municipal music. In 1709 Telemann married Amalie Eberlin, who died in childbirth during the first year of their union. In 1714 Telemann married Maria Katharina Textor, whose gambling addiction was so bad the citizens of Hamburg took up a collection in order save the couple from bankruptcy. Later Telemann's second spouse would abandon him in favor of a Swedish military officer.
In 1721 Telemann's opera, Der geduldige Socrates was performed in Hamburg. That same year, Hamburg's officials awarded Telemann the positions of Kantor of the Johanneum and musical director of the city's principal churches. In doing so Telemann accepted the responsibility of writing two cantatas for every Sunday, a new Passion setting annually and of contributing music to a wide variety of liturgical and civic events. Telemann readily met these obligations and in 1722 accepted the directorship of the Hamburg Opera, serving until its closure in 1738.
Telemann was also one of the first composers to concentrate on the business of publishing his own music, and at least forty early prints of his music are known from editions which he prepared and sold himself. These published editions were in some cases extremely popular and spread Telemann's fame throughout Europe; in particular the Der Getreue Musik Meister (1728), Musique de Table or Tafelmusik (1733) and the 6 Concerts et 6 Suites (1734) were in wide use during Telemann's own lifetime.
Starting in the 1740s until about 1755, Telemann focused less on composition, turning his attentions to the study of music theory. He wrote many oratorios in the mid-1750s, including Donnerode (1756), Das befreite Israel (1759), and Die Auferstehung und Himmelfährt Jesu (1760). Telemann's long life ended at the age 86 in 1767.
Georg Philipp Telemann was considered the most important German composer of his day and his reputation outlasted him for some time, but ultimately it was unable to withstand the shadow cast by the growing popularity of his contemporary, Johann Sebastian Bach. Telemann enormous output, perhaps the largest of any classical composer in history, includes parts of at least 31 cantata cycles, many operas, concertos, oratorios, songs, music for civic occasions and church services, passion, orchestral suites and abundant amounts of chamber music. While many of these works have been lost, most still exist, and the sheer bulk of his creativity has made it difficult for scholars and performers alike to come to terms with. The inevitable revival of interest in Telemann did not arrive until the 1920s, but has grown exponentially ever since, and with the twenty first century in full swing more of Telemann's music is played, known, understood and studied than at any time in history. Read less
Schumann, Handel, Haydn, Telemann: Concertos For Four Horns
Release Date: 12/13/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557747   Number of Discs: 1
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Telemann: Ouvertures Pittoresques / Gester, Arte Dei Suonatori
Release Date: 02/26/2013   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1979   Number of Discs: 1
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Telemann: Six Overtures for Harpsichord / Nakagawa
Release Date: 05/11/2018   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573819   Number of Discs: 1
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Telemann: Chamber Music with Flute
Release Date: 07/29/2016   Label: Glossa  
Catalog: 80803   Number of Discs: 1
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Telemann: 6 Moral Cantatas
Release Date: 04/06/2018   Label: Centaur Records  
Catalog: 3591   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Water Music

Browse 1-10 of 10 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    A Telemann Companion / Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908781 Release Date: 09/08/2017   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Performer:  Isabelle Poulenard,  Werner Güra,  Maria Cristina Kiehr,  Roman Trekel  ... 
    Conductor:  René Jacobs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin,  RIAS Chamber Choir
    CD: $45.99
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  • 2.
    Handel: Water Music - Telemann: Wassermusik / Benardini, Zefiro
    Label: Arcana   Catalog: 432 Release Date: 06/23/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro
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  • 3.
    Telemann, Corelli & Bach / Paradiso, Roos, Laurin, Hoor Barock
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2235 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Dan Laurin,  Emelie Roos,  Anna Paradiso
    Conductor:  Dan Laurin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Höör Barock
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  • 4.
    Telemann: Tafelmusik, Wassermusik & Konzerte / Goebel, Musica Antiqua
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 002463502 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Performer:  Jaap Ter Linden,  Julia Huber-Warzecha,  Reinhard Goebel,  Stephan Schardt  ... 
    Conductor:  Reinhard Goebel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Antiqua Cologne
    CD: $32.49
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  • 5.
    Les Elements: Tempetes, Orages & Fetes Marines / Savall, Le Concert des Nations
    Label: Alia Vox   Catalog: 9914 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Matthew Locke,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Marin Marais,  Georg Philipp Telemann  ... 
    Conductor:  Jordi Savall
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert des Nations
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 6.
    Telemann Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95150 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Performer:  Kate Clark,  Sayuri Yamagata,  Remy Baudet,  Wilbert Hazelzet  ... 
    Conductor:  Pieter-Jan Belder,  Patrick Peire,  Nicol Matt,  Stefano Veggetti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion,  Il Rossignolo,  Collegium Instrumentale Brugense  ... 
    CD: $118.99
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  • 7.
    Baroque Music, Vol. 1
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2191 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Evgeni Nepalov,  A. Ratsbaum,  Mikhail Muntian,  Vladimir Bogorad  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Telemann: Wassermusik & Flute Concertos / Bagliano, Et Al
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 33783 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Conductor:  Stefano Bagliano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Pro Musica
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    Anhorn! Listen! / Elbeblech Brass Quintet
    Label: Genuin Classics   Catalog: 88114 Release Date: 01/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elbeblech Brass Quintet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Telemann: Suites, Concerto for Recorder / Steger, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 901917 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Performer:  Maurice Steger,  Xenia Löffler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
    CD: $19.99
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