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Name of Work

Telemann, Georg Philipp (1681-1767)
Concerto in D Major, TWV 43:D7 for trumpet, two oboes, continuo

Movements:
Largo
Vivace
Siciliano
Vivace

Performances:


Nov 08, 2009



Barbara Butler, Trumpet
Michael Henoch, Oboe
Anne Bach, Oboe
Stephen Balderston, Cello
Dennis Michel, Bassoon
Jason Moy, Harpsichord


Nov 09, 2009



Barbara Butler, Trumpet
Michael Henoch, Oboe
Anne Bach, Oboe
Stephen Balderston, Cello
Dennis Michel, Bassoon
Jason Moy, Harpsichord

TELEMANN - Concerto for Trumpet, Two Oboes and Continuo in D major, TWV 43:D7

With the condescending pronouncement, “Since the best man could not be obtained, mediocre ones would have to be accepted,” City Councilor Platz announced the appointment of Johann Sebastian Bach in 1723 as Kantor for Leipzig’s churches. Platz’s “best man” was Georg Philipp Telemann, then the most highly regarded composer in all Germany. Telemann’s association with Leipzig went back to 1701, when he left his hometown of Magdeburg to enroll at the city’s university; he was soon receiving regular commissions from the Leipzig City Council for new service music. In 1702, he became director of the local opera house, and began churning out specimens of that genre to fill his own stage. Two years later, he started a Collegium Musicum with some of his talented university friends in a local coffee house to give concerts of instrumental music and was also appointed organist and Kapellmeister of Leipzig’s Neukirche. A year later, Count Erdmann von Promnitz lured Telemann to his estate at Sorau, a hundred miles southeast of Berlin, to become his music master. In 1708 or 1709, Telemann was appointed court composer at Eisenach, Sebastian Bach’s birthplace, and in 1712, he moved to the post of city music director in Frankfurt-am-Main. Nine years later, he was named director of music for Hamburg’s five main churches. During his tenure, he also headed the municipal opera house and oversaw the city’s flourishing concert series. He composed with staggering prolificacy for the rest of his days, being slowed only in his last years, like Bach and Handel, by problems with his eyesight. He died of (probably) pneumonia in 1767 (Mozart turned eleven that year), and was succeeded in his Hamburg post by his godson, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.

Telemann’s so-called Concerto in D major for Trumpet, Two Oboes, Bassoon and Harpsichord is not really a concerto in the Bach-Vivaldi orchestral tradition, but rather an elaborate chamber sonata for winds and continuo. Though the trumpet is given nominal precedence in the title, the oboes are entrusted with the lion’s share of the music (the trumpet is silent during the Siciliano and the middle section of the last movement), engaging in a sort of conversational dialogue when all the instruments are active. The opening Largo is a stately processional initiated by the oboes. The following Vivace is led by the trumpet, which is called upon to perform with a suave virtuosity that matches the range and agility of the oboes. The lilting Siciliano is a true trio sonata movement for oboes, bassoon and continuo whose somber minor-key tonality lends its an almost operatic pathos. The finale is festive and brilliant. In its grateful balancing of winds and harpsichord, this Concerto gives credence to a saying attributed to Telemann as advice to a young composer: “Give every instrument its due/The player will be pleased, and the audience will, too.”

Program Notes by Dr. Richard E. Rodda

Performed November 8 & 9, 2009



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