Georg Philipp Telemann, 1681-1767


Selected Recordings

Concerto in E minor for Traverso, Violin

Concerto in E flat major for 2 Horns, Strings

Oboe Concerto in D minor, adagio

Selected Sheet Music

Halt im Gedachtnis Jesum Christum

Source: Archiv der kreuznacher-diakonie-kantorei

Showcase Piece

Fantasia 3, with alto recorder

Notes and Commentary

“‘If we wish to understand the extraordinary blaze of music that illuminated Germany from the time of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven,’ wrote Romain Rolland, ‘we must have some acquaintance with those who prepared this magnificent beacon; we must watch the lighting of the fire.’ One of those whom Rolland regarded as significant in the preparation of that beacon, and in the lighting of that fire, was Georg Philipp Telemann.”—David Ewen, The Complete Book of Classical Music

“Baroque master of 3,000 works.”—Phil GouldingClassical Music

Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. 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 the city’s five main churches. While Telemann’s career prospered, his personal life was always troubled: his first wife died only a few months after their marriage, and his second wife had extramarital affairs and accumulated a large gambling debt before leaving him. He lived from March 14, 1681, to June 25, 1767.

Telemann was one of the most prolific composers in history, at least in terms of surviving oeuvre, with at least 3,000 known pieces, and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time. He was compared favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to George Frideric Handel, whom Telemann also knew personally. Telemann’s music incorporates several national styles (French, Italian) and is even at times influenced by Polish popular music. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies and his music is an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles.—From Wikipedia

Books and Music

Selected Books

Music for a Mixed Taste: Style, Genre, and Meaning in Telemann’s Instrumental Works
Oxford University Press, 2008
Steven Zohn
$46.39 on Amazon

“Steven Zohn’s excellent and engaging study should put to rest, once and for all, any view that Telemann was a habitual composer of wallpaper music. Zohn gives us a comprehensive, nuanced, and discerning picture of the Telemann whose music Bach and Handel so greatly admired.”—Michael Marissen, Professor of Music, Swarthmore College, on Amazon

Selected Music

tele-suite-b Suite in B; Concerto in G; Six Canonic Sonatas (1993), 1 CD

tele-english Suiten: English Concert with Trevor Pinnock (1993), 1 CD

tele-tafel Tafelmusik Production III: Complete (2004), 2-CD set

More Georg Phillip Telemann music

Complete Works

The following list is excerpted from Wikipedia.

See List of operas by Telemann


  • Cantata Cycle 1716-1717
  • Die Donner-Ode (“The Ode of Thunder”) TWV 6:3a-b
  • Du bleibest dennoch unser Gott (Erstausgabe 1730)
  • Ihr Völker, hört
  • Ino (1765)
  • Sei tausendmal willkommen (Erstausgabe 1730)
  • Die Tageszeiten (“The Times of the Day”) (1764)
  • Gott, man lobet dich, Cantata for the Peace of Paris, 1763, for 5-part chorus, flute, 2 oboes, bassoon, 3 trumpets, 2 horns, strings & continuo, TWV 14:12
    • not by Telemann: Der Schulmeister (“The Schoolmaster” 1751), by Christoph Ludwig Fehre.


  • Hamburger Admiralitätsmusik several years including TWV 24:1
  • Der Tag des Gerichts (“The Day of Judgement”)
  • Hamburgische Kapitänsmusik (various years)
  • Der Tod Jesu (“The Death of Jesus”) TWV 5:6
  • Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu” (“The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus”) TWV 6:6, 1716
  • Trauermusik for emperor Karl VII (1745) Ich hoffete aufs Licht, TWV 4:13
  • Trauermusik for Hamburg mayor nl:Garlieb Sillem Schwanengesang TWV 4:6

Orchestral suites

  • Grillen-symphonie TWV 50:1
  • Ouvertüre Wassermusik (Hamburger Ebb und Fluth) TWV 55:C3
  • Ouvertüre des nations anciens et modernes in G TWV 55:G4
  • Ouvertüre g-moll in G minor TWV 55:g4
  • Suite a-moll für Flöte, Orchester und b.c. TWV 55:a2
  • Overture: Alster Echo in F, for 4 horns, 2 oboes, bassoon, strings and continuo, TWV55:F11

Chamber music

  • Sinfonia Spirituosa in D Major (2 violins, viola & continuo, trumpet ad libitum) TWV 44:1
  • Tafelmusik (1733) (‘Tafelmusik’ refers to music meant to accompany a meal)
  • Der getreue Musikmeister (1728), a musical journal containing 70 small vocal and instrumental compositions
  • 6 Paris Quartets, each of which has five to six instruments. TWV 43[5]
  • Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst
  • The Twelve Fantasias for Transverse Flute without Bass TWV 40:2-13
  • The Twelve Fantasias for Violin without Bass TWV 40:14-25
  • 6 Canonical Sonatas TWV 40: 118-123



  • Violin Concerto in A Major “Die Relinge” TWV 51:A4
  • Concerto for Three Violins in F major, TWV 53:F1


  • Concerto in G Major for Viola and String Orchestra, TWV 51:G9; the first known concerto for viola, still regularly performed today
  • Concerto in G Major for Two Violas and String Orchestra, TWV 52:G3


  • “Concerto for Two Horns in D Major” TWV 52:D1
  • “Concerto for Two Horns in D Major” TWV 52:D2
  • “Concerto for Horn and Orchestra in D Major” 51:D8

Chalumeau [edit]

  • Concerto in C major for 2 Chalmeaux, 2 Bassoons and Orchestra, 52:C 1
  • Concerto in D minor for Two Chalumeaux and Orchestra, 52:d 1


  • Trumpet Concerto in D major, 51:D 7
  • Concerto in D for Trumpet and 2 Oboes, 53:D 2
  • Concerto in D for Trumpet, Violin and Violoncello, 53:D 5
  • Concerto in D for 3 Trumpets, Timpani, 2 Oboes, 54:D 3
  • Concerto in D for 3 Trumpets, Timpani, 54:D 4


  • “Concerto in F Minor”
  • “Concerto in A Major”
  • “Concerto in E Minor”
  • “Concerto in G Major”
  • “Concerto in C Minor”
  • “Concerto in D Minor”
  • “sonata in G minor”
  • “Sonata in A Minor”


    • “Concerto in D Major”
    • “Concerto in E Minor for recorder & traverso”

The list above is excerpted from Wikipedia
Georg Phillip Telemann Books and Music
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