Thursday, 24 April 2008

97. Georg Philipp Telemann - Tafelmusik (1733)


Title: Tafelmusik
Performer: Musica Antiqua Koln
Director: Reinhard Goebel
Year: 1988
Length: 4 hours 16 minutes (4 CDs)


Here we are with the last Telemann recording on the list, which for a guy who composed so much isn't really a lot. But to be honest, I think it is quite enough, Telemann has a problem, he is not immediately recognisable as himself, his style is not marked enough to make you immediately think "Ah! Telemann!", you have to know the specific piece to identify it.

The same is not true of the great late baroque composers, Handel, Bach and Vivaldi are all immediately recognisable, Telemann seems to use a bit of everything ending up sounding like 'generic baroque'. This is not to say, however, that Tafelmusik is a bad collection of music, in fact it is pretty good, it is especially good in the sense that there is a lot of variety here.

Each of the three productions which constitute Tafelmusik are composed of a suite-like overture, followed by a quartet followed by a concert, a trio, a solo and finally a conclusion harking back to the overture. This allows Telemann to experiment with a lot of different instrumentation, and the listener not to be bored, because there is something different around the corner. But unfortunately, even if it is quite pretty music, with a very varied style, it does not seem to have enough character to make an indelible impression on the listener. Telemann was doing it for the cash, and you can kind of tell.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Tafelmusik (German: literally, "table-music") is a term denoting music from the 16th and 17th centuries which was used as background music for feasts, banquets and other outdoor events. Often the term was also used as a title for collections of music, some of which was intended to be so used.

Some of the most significant composers of Tafelmusik included Johann Schein, whose Banchetto musicale of 1617 acquired considerable fame, and Michael Praetorius, who wrote about the phenomenon of Tafelmusik in his Syntagma musicum of 1619. Music from Schein's collection is still performed by early music ensembles with some regularity.

The Tafelmusik or Musique de Table by the Baroque composer George Philipp Telemann is perhaps his most celebrated collection of music. Composed in 1733, Telemann's Tafelmusik has been compared as a collection to the renowned Brandenburg Concertos of Johann Sebastian Bach in clearly demonstrating the composer’s supreme skill in handling a diversity of musical genres and a variety of instruments.

Concert in F Major, 1st movement from Second Production, followed by Conclusion in B flat Major - Furioso from the Third Production:

No comments: