Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Georg Philipp Telemann 1681-1767

I love good music and I particularly love Baroque music; Georg Philipp Telemann is one of my favorites. He was a prolific composer: 40 operas, 23 oratories and masses, over 1500 cantatas, etc. For 46 years, he provided music for the five main churches of Hamburg. In his time, he was more popular than Bach, however this didn't seem to darken their relationship since Bach asked him to be godfather to his son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. He was also a good friend of George Frederic Handel. Telemann was instrumental in helping to create the Classical style

He was born in Magdeburg, Saxony and discovered music at a young age, writing his first opera at 12 years old. His family did not approve and his instruments were confiscated by his mother. However, his talent could not be silenced (!) and at 17 years old he was noticed by a Jesuit monastery and was put in charge of their music. He became an intimate friend to Fr. Crispus, the Jesuit superior.

He moved to Leipzig to study law, but music was too great a passion and he became of full-time composer. His family life was not as successful: he lost his first wife in childbirth and his second wife left him for another man. He died on June 25, 1767.

No comments: