Never from the Heart? Telemann’s Concertos
This chapter focuses on Telemann’s concertos. The environment in which Telemann began composing concertos appears to have been equally receptive to the French and Italian styles. His most significant Eisenach colleague was Pantaleon Hebenstreit, a violinist and dancing master famous for his invention of and virtuosity on the pantaleon, a large dulcimer with a wide dynamic range. At least twenty-seven extant solo concertos by Telemann may be assigned to the Eisenach or early Frankfurt years on the basis of their source transmission and musical style. When Telemann wrote of his concertos that they “mostly smell of France”, he might well have been referring specifically to a group of ten works written in the years around 1718. These include six concertos for two flutes (52:e2; 53:D1, G1, A1, a1, h1), two for two recorders (52:a2, B1), one for two oboes (53:C1), and one for two flutes and violin (53:e1). Each exemplifies the mixed taste by blending the Italian concerto with French stylistic elements. Telemann continued writing concertos with string soloists at Frankfurt and Hamburg. By the mid-1710s, he had fully adopted the modular organization of the Vivaldian ritornello; the first movement of the violin concerto 51:F2 provides an especially clear example.
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