Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767) was a German
Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost
completely self-taught in music, he became a composer
against his family's wishes. After studying in
Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered
the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually
settled on a career in music. He held important
positions in Leipzig, Sorau, Eisenach, and Frankfurt
before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became
musical director of the city's five main churches.
Telemann was one of the most prolific composers in
history (at least in terms of surviving oeuvre) and was
considered by his contemporaries to be one of the
leading German composers of the time—he was compared
favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who
made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son
Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to George Frideric Handel,
whom Telemann also knew personally.
Georg Philipp Telemann age twelve wrote an opera:
Sigismundus. This so concerned his mother that she
confiscated his musical instruments and made him study
jurisprudence. She wanted him to be something
respectable, not a 'boatman, tightrope walker, fiddler,
or marmot tamer' (1740 autobiography).
Telemann did his best to comply and in 1701 decided to
enroll in the law school at Leipzig University.
However, he discovered some instruments in a
fellow-student's room and from that moment devoted
himself exclusively to music.
Telemann composed a vast body of work and made a lot of
money, some of it from self-publishing. He was friends
with Handel and J.S. Bach, and godfather to one of the
latter's sons, Carl Philipp Emanuel.
In Hamburg in 1732-3 Telemann published three books of
fantasias for harpsichord (TWV 33:1-36). The first and
third books are in the Italian style, the second in the
French. They are early Rococo miniatures, with light,
clear-textured writing. Each book contains twelve
Although originally written for Harpsichord, I created
this unconventional arrangement for Bassoon and