Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

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Episodes

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COTW01The Making Of The Man20160328

Telemann was a many-splendoured thing: gardener, translator, theorist, publisher, poet, entrepreneur, and an early tech-geek. He also earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as music's most prolific composer. But is that necessarily an accolade to be proud of?

And so Donald Macleod sets out to uncover the real Georg Philipp Telemann - a prolific, industrious polymath or, as one historian put it, a purveyor of 'factory products' achieved 'by dint of sedulous scribbling'. We also have to wrestle with a primary source on the composer which is at once both a treasure trove, and a route map of garden alleys. Johann Mattheson's 'autobiography' of the composer is a product of its time, with its tantalising combination of hard facts and fantasy.

In the opening programme we meet the young Telemann, and try to hang some hard facts on Mattheson's tantalising portrait. We quickly discover that industry and tenacity ran in the composer's blood from an early age, as his mother puts all her effort into diverting her precocious son as far from a career in music as possible.

Overture in B flat TWV 55:B5 - 'Les Turcs'

Arte dei Suonatori

Martin Gester, director

Fantasia no.12 in G minor for flute

Barthold Kuijken, flute

Cantata: Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein

Bach Consort Leipzig, Saxony Baroque Orchestra

Ein guter Mut (Oden 1741)

Klaus Mertens, baritone

Ludger Remy, harpsichord

'La Bizarre' Overture

Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin

Rene Jacobs, director.

How the young Telemann was determined to succeed despite the efforts of a reluctant parent

COTW02The Collaborator20160329

It was his summer sojourns with perhaps his most enlightened employer which saw Telemann's musical outlook transformed. In Poland he heard enough folksongs in eight days to last him a lifetime.

Today we hear some of the fruits of those trips, brought vividly to life by the group Holland Baroque whose recordings are something of a mash-up of Telemann's music and the folk tunes of the day. Plus we discover how Telemann worked with the best performers around him to create a series of concerts so popular that a parking crisis ensued.

With Donald Macleod.

Les Janissaires

Holland Baroque Society

Milos Valent, violin

Concerto for Trumpet and Violin in D, TWV.53:D5

Ingeborg Scheerer, violin, Hannes Rux, trumpet

La Stagione Frankfurt

Michael Schneider, director

Pastorelle (conclusion)

Doerthe Maria Sandmann, soprano (Caliste)

Barbara Fink, mezzo soprano (Iris)

Mathias Haussmann, baritone (Damon)

Lydia Vierlinger, contralto (Amyntas)

Bernhard Berchtold, tenor (Knirfix)

Capella Leopoldina

Kirill Karabits, conductor

Suite in B flat 'Perpetuum Mobile' (and traditional Polish dances)

Donald Macleod on how a trip to Poland inspired Telemann to experiment with folk flavours.

COTW03A Versatile Hand20160330

Was there a single instrument of the time which Telemann didn't play? It certainly seems unlikely when browsing his claimed talents not just at the staple violin, flute and keyboard but also the likes of viola pomposa and the chalumeau.

Today, a survey of Telemann's many musical talents, and also some wider skills at which he excelled including engraving and theoretical pursuits. We also encounter the ultimate in musical technology of the time, a keyboard instrument fitted with 500 candles, mirrors and coloured window, all in the quest to link sound and colour.

With Donald Macleod.

Sonata in F for recorder and continuo TWV 41:F2

Michael Schneider, recorder

Nicholas Selo, cello

Sabine Bauer, harpsichord

Concerto for 2 Chalumeaux in D minor

Colin Lawson and Michael Harris, chalumeaux

Collegium Musicum 90

Simon Standage, director

Flute Fantasia No.6 in D minor

Barthold Kuijken, flute

Violin Fantasia No.6 in E minor

Rachel Podger, violin

Double Horn Concerto in E flat

Teunis van der Zwart, horn

Bart Arbeydt, horn

Freiburg Baroque

Gottfried von der Goltz, director.

COTW03A Versatile Hand20160330

Donald Macleod surveys Telemann's countless instrumental skills.

COTW03A Versatile Hand20160330

COTW04Doing Business20160331

It looks like the worst decision of his life - turning down the job of Leipzig kantor which then cemented JS Bach's immortality. But was it actually a masterstroke?

Donald Macleod uncovers Telemann's business acumen, beginning with that shrewd job negotiation which saw the composer leverage a hefty salary increase from his employers in Hamburg. We also explore Telemann's entrepreneurial activities as he cashes in from the wealth of the local nobility and filing expenses claims which would make any accountant proud.

Overture (Jubeloratorium für die Hamburger Admiralität' TWV 23:1)

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Der Getreue Music Master (Sonata in D for viola da gamba)

Rainer Zippering, viola da gamba

Brockes Passion (conclusion)

Birgitte Christensen, soprano

Lydia Teuscher, soprano

Donat Havar, tenor

RIAS Chamber Choir

Berlin Academy of Ancient Music

Rene Jacobs, director

Suite in E minor T 43:e1 (Paris Quartet no.5)

Florilegium.

COTW04Doing Business20160331

Donald Macleod discovers Telemann's brilliant entrepreneurial skills.

COTW04Doing Business20160331

COTW05Ever the Politician20160401

One prominent contemporary called him 'the operator'. Telemann was nothing short of brilliant when it came to negotiating the tricky path between the diverse expectations of his influential patrons. But, as Donald Macleod discovers, all was not quite as rosy in his personal life as the composer's wife scandalises the whole of Hamburg with her gambling debts and an affair with a prominent military man.

Les Cyclopes (Suite in E minor TWV 55:e3)

Holland Baroque Society

O erhabnes Glück der Ehe (conclusion)

Das Kleine Konzert

Hermann Max, director

Concerto in A minor for Recorder and Viola da Gamba TWV 52:a1

Michael Schneider, recorder/director

Rainer Zipperling, viola da gamba

La Stagione Frankfurt

Ino (conclusion)

Barbara Schlick, soprano

Musica Antiqua Koln

Reinhard Goebel, director

Cantata - Schmucke Dich

Gli Angeli Geneva

Stephan Macleod, director.

COTW05Ever the Politician20160401

Donald Macleod charts the contrast in fortunes between Telemann's public and private lives

COTW05Ever the Politician20160401

COTW-0101The Entrepreneur2006022020070806

Donald Macleod begins a week-long exploration of the life and music of the composer who largely eclipsed the reputation even of his compatriot and contemporary JS Bach.

In this edition, a view of Telemann's entrepreneurial flare, the springboard for a number of his most important publications.

Overture Jubeloratorium für die Hamburger Admiralität TWV 23:1 Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Der Getreue Music-Meister: Lesson No 17

Sonata in F for violin and continuo

Mary Utiger (violin)

Michael McCraw (cello)

Nicholas Selo (harpsichord)

Paris Quartet: Sonata No 2, Hamburg Quadri No 4

Barthold Kuijken (flute)

Sigiswald Kuijken (violin)

Wieland Kuijken (viola da gamba)

Gustav Leonhardt (harpsichord)

Brocke's Passion, end

Martin Klietmann (Evangelist)

Maria Zadori (Daughter of Zion)

Annette Markert (faithful soul)

Guy de Mey (Centurion)

Stadtsingechor zu Halle Capella Savaria

Nicholas McGegan (director).

A look at Telemann's entrepreneurial flare, the springboard for a number of his most important publications.

Overture Jubeloratorium für die Hamburger

Admiralität, TWV 23'1

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Evangelist....Martin Klietmann

Daughter of Zion....Maria Zadori

Faithful soul....Annette Markert

Centurion....Guy de Mey

COTW-0102A True Cosmopolitan2006022120070807

Telemann was the very model of a modern European citizen in his era.

Donald Macleod joins him on a lightning tour of the continent with colourful stopovers in Moscow, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Paris and Norway.

Suite des Nations anciens et modernes

Collegium Musicum 90

Simon Standage (director)

Keyboard Fantasia 2me douzaine, No 11

John Butt (harpsichord)

Concerto in Em for recorder, flute and strings

Simon Standage (director/violin)

De Danske, norske og Tydske (excerpts)

Dorothee Mields (soprano)

Klaus Mertens (bass)

Magdeburger Kammerchor

Telemann-Kammerorchester Michaelstein

Ludger Rmy (director).

COTW-0103Brains2006022220070808

Donald Macleod explores Telemann's formidable reputation as an intellectual heavyweight and discovers how his diverse interests and knowledge inspired his music-making.

Cantata: Sehet an die Exempel

Mona Spägele (soprano)

Henning Voss (alto)

Wilfried Jochens (tenor)

Klaus Mertens (bass)

Bläserkollegium Leipzig

Telemann-Kammerorchestra Michaelstein

Ludger Rmer (director)

Concerto for 2 Chalumeaux in Dm

Colin Lawson, Michael Harris (chalumeau)

Collegium Musicum 90

Simon Standage

An den Schlaf (Oden 1741)

Klaus Mertens (baritone)

Ludger Rmy (harpsichord)

Der neumodische Liebhaber Damon - excerpt

Damon....Michael Schopper (bass)

La Stagione Frankfurt

Michael Schneider (director).

COTW-0104The Operator2006022320070809

Telemann's willingness to blur the lines of church and theatre in Hamburg made him several enemies among his professional rivals in the city.

Donald Macleod discovers the influence this had on his music through a selection of works for religious and dramatic occasions.

Cantata - Saget den Verzagten Herzen

Dorothee Meilds (soprano)

Britta Schwarz (alto)

Wilfried Jochens (tenor)

Dirk Schmidt (bass)

Magdeburg Kammerchor

Telemann-Kammerorchestrer Michaelstein

Ludger Rmy (director)

Pimpinone - end of intermezzo II

Vespetta....Metchtild Bach

Michael Schopper (bass)

La Stagione Frankfurt

Michael Schneider (director)

Der Tod Jesu - Part I (excerpts)

Jan Kobow (tenor)

Ouverture Burlesque

Collegium Musicum 90

Simon Standage (director).

COTW-0105 LASTEarthquake, Wind And Fire2006022420070810

Donald Macleod ends his exploration of Telemann's music with an assessment of the composer's commitment to his patrons and fellow city dwellers, including his searing musical reflection on the Lisbon earthquake to commemorate its first anniversary.

Die Donner-Ode - Part 1

Patrizia Kwella (soprano)

Catherine Denley (alto)

Stephen Roberts, Michael George (bass)

Collegium Musicum 90

Richard Hickox (conductor)

'Alster' Overture

Akademie für alte Musik Berlin

Ouverture jointe d'une Suite Tragi-comique - Le podagre (Loure)

COTW-02012010061420121119

Donald Macleod focuses on some of Telemann's early music, including a church cantata.

During his long and remarkably prolific life, Georg Philipp Telemann was recognised as the leading German composer of the Baroque era, whose reputation in his time, was even greater than that of his compatriot, JS Bach. He wrote a wealth of innovative music for the church, court, opera house, concert hall and private home. Telemann was an astute business man too, in tune with the changing tastes of his time. He made music more widely available by putting on regular series of public concerts and publishing collections of his own works for anyone willing and able to buy.

Telemann broke new ground with the dramatic nature of his church cantatas in a move to make them more palatable to the congregation. They were hugely successful and could be heard far and wide across Germany in years to come. As a court composer in Sorau and Eisenach, he began writing fashionable French overtures and a constant stream of instrumental music.

In the first programme, Donald Macleod features some of this early music, including a church cantata set to a text by the foremost cantata poet of the time, a concerto for four violins and an orchestral suite which draws on the popular figures of the commedia dell'arte.

COTW-02022010061520121120

Donald Macleod on the festive music Telemann wrote for a banquet in Hamburg.

After working his way around various cities in Germany, Telemann settled in Hamburg where he remained for the rest of his life.

His music was in constant demand for all kinds of occasions.

Donald Macleod introduces the festive music written for the annual banquet of the civic guard, and highlights from a work which started life as a comic interlude in a serious opera.

After working his way around various cities in Germany, Telemann settled in Hamburg where he remained for the rest of his life. His music was in constant demand for all kinds of occasions. Donald Macleod introduces the festive music written for the annual banquet of the civic guard, and highlights from a work which started life as a comic interlude in a serious opera.

COTW-02032010061620121121

Donald Macleod on some of the many collections Telemann published and marketed himself.

With his astute business sense, Telemann no doubt had an eye to the financial advantages of publishing his own music, but he also had a genuine desire to make sheet music more readily available to anyone who could afford to buy it. Donald Macleod looks at some of the many collections Telemann published and marketed himself, including a range of chamber music for virtually every instrument in existence at the time, a collection of small-scale sacred cantatas for use in the home and the most popular of all his passion oratorios.

COTW-02042010061720121122

Donald Macleod explores music Telemann wrote especially for a trip to Paris in 1737.

In October 1737 Telemann took up a longstanding offer to visit Paris where he was welcomed with open arms.

Donald Macleod looks at the works Telemann wrote especially for his trip, including a selection of chamber works for flute, violin and continuo and a psalm setting performed twice at Paris' prestigious Concert Spirituel.

In October 1737 Telemann took up a longstanding offer to visit Paris where he was welcomed with open arms. Donald Macleod looks at the works Telemann wrote especially for his trip, including a selection of chamber works for flute, violin and continuo and a psalm setting performed twice at Paris' prestigious Concert Spirituel.

COTW-0205 LAST2010061820121123

Donald Macleod explores Telemann's musical comeback in the last ten years of his life.

After a long break, during which Telemann's productivity fell off dramatically, he made a remarkable comeback in the last ten years of his life when he wrote some of his greatest works. Donald Macleod introduces the colourful orchestral suite based on Cervantes' novel Don Quixote, and one of the finest examples of Telemann's word-painting in his last secular cantata.