Georg Philipp Telemann

Georg Philipp Telemann, born on 14 March 1681 in Magdeburg, was one of the greatest musical figures of his time. During his lifetime his fame even surpassed that of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), who was a close friend, so much so that Bach asked him in 1714 to be the godfather of his second eldest son Carl Philipp Emanuel.

As a composer, Kapellmeister, concert manager and publisher Telemann was engaged in almost all important areas of musical life. Leipzig, Eisenach, Frankfurt am Main and above all Hamburg, where he was active for 46 years until his death on 26 June 1767, mark the major chapters of his life. Telemann's musical output ranges from opera and sacred music to large-scale instrumental works and chamber music, from compositions for formal occasions to works for domestic music-making, partly with educational purpose.

For the 250th anniversary of Telemann's death in 2017 the Wiener Urtext Edition presents two chamber music works by the composer: the 12 Fantasias for solo violin (TWV 40:14–25) and the Sonata for flute (transverse flute) and basso continuo, referred to by Telemann as Solo, from his instrumental cycle Tafelmusik / Musique de Table (TWV 41:h4) which was already in wide circulation during his lifetime. The latter supplements the composer's works for flute already listed for some time in the Wiener Urtext Edition catalogue, and the Violin fantasias form the counterpart to the 12 Fantasias for solo flute (TWV 40:2–13) and as such represent a compendium of styles and genres of the period. Concise, sharply profiled and individually crafted, they are with their wealth of invention a treasure trove of great artistic and didactic value for ‘connoisseurs and amateurs’. They form as it were a counterfoil to J. S. Bach's monumental Violin soli (UT50255).

12 Fantasies for Violin solo

Telemann’s Fantasias for Solo Violin and his Fantasias for Solo Flute constitute a varied collection of twelve pieces, half of which follow the model of the ‘sonata da chiesa’ and the other half the model of the ‘sonata da camera’. In these pieces Telemann presents an abundance of different stylistic elements and features of his time which make this collection an extensive compendium of late Baroque violin music.


Sonata for Flute and Basso continuo

Telemann’s Sonata (Solo) for transverse flute and basso continuo comes from his “Tafelmusik” published in 1733, one of the most important instrumental cycles of the late Baroque period. The prominent themes of the Sonata seem to have impressed G. Fr. Handel so much that he took them up in his Organ Concerto No. 15 in D minor. The edition strictly follows the first edition published by Telemann himself, which made it possible to correct several errors in later editions.

12 Fantasies for flute solo

The Wiener Urtext edition of Telemann's Fantasies is based on the first print published by the composer himself. The few obvious mistakes in the music have been corrected. In the critical notes the editor provides information about the source the authorship and authenticity. The notes on interpretation by Mirjam Nastasi provide instructive suggestions for the historically informed performance practice. Discussion based on sources from the 18th century (Quantz, Hotteterre and others) about related works is included as well as about the basic aspects of baroque flute playing which, for every flautist, are indispensable.


Six Sonatas for 2 Flutes (Violins)

Georg Philipp Telemann's Six Sonatas for two flutes of 1726, also known as Flute Duets Op. 2, are dedicated to two young music lovers and, thus, appeal explicitly to a circle of pupils and music lovers. The pieces foster the ability of musical interpretation as well as a playful love of music-making and are thus ideal for music lessons. The sonatas can alternatively be performed on the violin. The new edition of the Wiener Urtext Edition is based on Telemann's original print as well as on two earlier editions which grant insight into the contemporary ornamentation practice. Further suggestions for the performance are given in the Notes on interpretation by Susanne Schrage. The layout of the new edition is clearly designed, page-turns within individual movements have been avoided thanks to fold-out pages. Thus, the proper foundation has been laid both for a historically informed performance and for relaxed music-making.