Telemann, Georg Philipp (1681 - 1767)
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MAGATAGAN, MICHAEL (1960 - )
|Added by magataganm, 04 Dec 2023
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 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.
Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually settled on a career in music. He held important positions in Leipzig, Sorau, Eisenach, and Frankfurt before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became musical director of that city's five main churches. While Telemann's career prospered, his personal life was always troubled: his first wife died less than two years after their marriage, and his second wife had extramarital affairs and accumulated a large gambling debt before leaving him. As part of his duties, he wrote a considerable amount of music for educating organists under his direction. This includes 48 chorale preludes and 20 small fugues (modal fugues) to accompany his chorale harmonisations for 500 hymns. His music incorporates French, Italian, and German national styles, and he was at times even influenced by Polish popular music. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies, and his music stands as an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles. The Telemann Museum in Hamburg is dedicated to him.
Georg Philipp Telemann's Concertos for Four Violins (TWV 40:201–204; original title: Concertos à 4 Violini Concertati) is a set of four concertos for four violins without continuo. Each concerto has four movements. The form of these concertos is concise and concentrated, even in a moderate tempo none of them lasts longer than eight minutes. The fast movements are fresh and lively. The slow ones are expressive and make use of uncommon harmony. Because of the imitative disposition all parts are equally involved in the materials’ treatment. The antiphonal opposition of instrumental groups in pairs is especially prominent. The dynamics in the Grave are the only ones found in the manuscript of the Sonata in C-major TWV 40:203. The writing in the second movement is very idiomatic for the violin and this particularly challenging for saxophones, especially in fast passages with large intervals. A few minor alterations may facilitate the technical difficulties. Sixteenth notes could be slurred in groups of four or two where wider intervals occur, as indicated by the dashed slurs. Difficult sixteenth note passages could be partly or completely substituted by eighth notes, according to one’s own progress. In bars 31/32 and 41 the accompaniment in the lower parts is originally in unison. The cues complete the harmony, especially if the first Alto part is simplified. The quarter notes in Largo e staccato have a certain weight in the context of the short eighth notes and should not be played too short.
Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concertos_for_Four_Violi ns_(Telemann)).
Although originally created for 4 Violins, I created this Arrangement of the Concerto in A Major (TWV 40:204) for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
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|4 Concerti for 4 Violins (4 sheet music)