Telemann’s Subscribers

“A Lulli is renowned; Corelli one may praise; but Telemann alone has above mere fame been raised.” – Johann Mattheson

Along with many other attributes Georg Philipp Telemann’s (1681-1767) trade marks encompass his enormous productivity – after all he composed more that 3,600 works during his lifetime – as well has his modern zeitgeist and business sense. One of his most successful schemes was the launch of a subscription list for his latest compositions, not unlike the mailing lists and newsletters we are all familiar with today. These lists were signed by members of the European Aristocracy as well as some of Telemann’s fellow musicians – including JS Bach, Händel and Blavet. The subscribers were amongst the first to receive his newly published compositions, and the composers amongst them frequently went on to quote Telemann’s music in their own work. Telemann’s contemporaries are, however, not the only composers to be inspired by and reflect on his work.

On the occasion of Telemann’s 250th anniversary of death in 2017, the City Music Foundation and I have commissioned twelve contemporary pieces* based on each of Telemanns XII Fantasie per il Flauto senza Basso. In these twelve Fantasias, Telemann juxtaposes German counterpoint, Italian virtuosity, French and English dance movements and folk music influenced by his affinity to Polish music. Perhaps this is what Telemann’s choice of title, Fantasie, refers to: a fanciful, imaginative and daring line-up of national styles. Consequently the idea to add the 21st century to this mosaic of styles does not seem far-fetched. Nor does the idea to extend Telemann’s subscription lists into our century…

TYXart – the musicART label will release the CD “Telemann’s Subscribers” in spring 2019.


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