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Concerto in D major, TWV54:D3

circa 1716; for three trumpets, timpani, two oboes, bassoon, strings and continuo

Telemann controversially declared in his 1718 autobiography that his concertos ‘mostly smell of France’; he complained that the form as a whole generally contained ‘many difficulties and awkward leaps … little harmony and even poorer melody’. There can be little doubt that these scathing remarks were directed principally at certain celebrated Italian composers; the irony is that Telemann’s concertos imitate the Italian style so well, fused as they are with German and French elements in the manner of his famous ‘mixed taste’. His 1740 autobiography indicates a change of heart asserting that of all the national styles, he had absorbed that of Italy the last; his eventual acceptance of the Italian style led to many such works being performed at his public concerts, and for concertos by Vivaldi, Albinoni and Tessarini being included as entr’acte entertainments between the acts of his comic opera Pimpinone in Hamburg, 1725.

Telemann probably started composing concertos during his period at Eisenach, where he was in the employ of Duke Johann-Wilhelm of Saxe-Eisenach. It is also during this period that he initially met Johann Sebastian Bach (whose brother Johann Bernhard Bach was both town organist and court harpsichordist); Telemann and Bach got along so well that Telemann was named godfather to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in 1714.

Telemann soon grew dissatisfied with life at the Eisenach court and in 1712, he took a pay-cut and moved to Frankfurt where he assumed the post of city director of music as well as that of Kapellmeister at the Barfüsserkirche. It was here that he re-instated the collegium musicum of the Frauenstein society, an association of patricians and bourgeoisie that presented weekly concerts. This provided a platform for Telemann to present numerous compositions such as the large concerto in D (TWV54:D3) which was composed in about 1716, around the same time that it also appeared as the sinfonia to his serenata Deutschland grünt und blüht im Friede (TWV12:1c).

from notes by Adrian Chandler © 2019


The Godfather
Studio Master: SIGCD602Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Movement 1: Intrada: Grave
Movement 2: Allegro
Movement 3: Largo
Movement 4: Vivace

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