Telemann and the Sonate auf Concertenart
This chapter focuses on the Sonate auf Concertenart, a “bilingual” genre in which the scoring and imitative textures of the sonata are crossed with gestures and structures evocative of the concerto. It presents an alternative historical narrative of the Sonate auf Concertenart, one that portrays the genre as a rather more multifaceted phenomenon than previously recognized. It argues that Vivaldi’s chamber concertos are unlikely to have furnished models for the earliest Sonate auf Concertenart; that the genre may have arisen in Germany before any of Vivaldi’s concertos—chamber or otherwise—became known there; that sonatas in concerto style were in fact cultivated rather widely, in France as well as in various parts of Germany; that contradictory rubrics of “sonata” and “concerto” on title pages probably did not result from scribal critiques of the music’s mixed generic status; and that, far from being an invention of postmodern criticism, the Sonate auf Concertenart may be situated within an 18th-century aesthetic favoring mixed genres. The chapter focuses on the Sonate auf Concertenart of Telemann. These works offer a virtual history of the genre in microcosm. Considering them in some detail provides something of a counterbalance to studies of Bach’s and Vivaldi’s sonatas in concerto style.
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