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Music for a Mixed TasteStyle, Genre, and Meaning in Telemann’s Instrumental Works$
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Steven Zohn

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169775.001.0001

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Telemann für Kenner und Liebhaber The Music of the Hamburg Publications

Telemann für Kenner und Liebhaber The Music of the Hamburg Publications

(p.391) Chapter 8 Telemann für Kenner und Liebhaber The Music of the Hamburg Publications
Music for a Mixed Taste

Steven Zohn

Oxford University Press

Telemann’s Hamburg publications of the 1720s and 1730s chart his deepening involvement with the galant style. With increasing consistency, the instrumental works from 1725 onward exhibit such progressive traits as heightened motivic contrast, slow harmonic rhythm (often involving drum and murky basses), incipient sonata forms, and characteristic rhythms such as triplets, Lombard figures, and alla zoppa syncopations; other galant hallmarks, including predominantly homophonic textures and periodic melodies, also figure prominently in certain collections. At the same time, Telemann’s mixing of genres and national styles becomes more assured and sophisticated. Yet for all their forward-looking aspects, these works also function as stylistic mediators between old and new: the galant style inflects strict canons, fully worked out fugues, the stile antico, and invocations of the Corellian sonata. Thus, Telemann the Progressive maintains a fruitful dialogue with the musical past in stylistically eclectic works that, at their best, can seem as fresh today as they did to his contemporaries. This chapter surveys twenty-seven published collections of instrumental music—as well as a few collections not printed by the composer—aimed at the connoisseur (Kenner), amateur (Liebhaber), or both.

Keywords:   Hamburg publications, galant style, instrumental music

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