City Network


Telemann about Hamburg
"On July 10, 1721 I was selected to succeed Mr. Joachim Gerstenbüttel, who had passed away, as the next Director of Music of the City Orchestra and Choir. About a year later I had taken over the direction of some operas which were losing their popularity and improved them (libretti and music). In 1723 I received an offer from Leipzig to replace the ailing Director of Music and Cantor, Johann Kuhnah. But it suited the City of Hamburg better to deny this request from Leipzig by increasing substantially my living standard [by considerably improving my maintenance]. In 1729 I received an offer from Russia to establish there a German orchestra and choir. This later became an Italian musical group. The amenities offered by Hamburg and the fact that I had moved my household four times already outweighed the desire to obtain even more extraordinary honors. My long-planned trip to Paris where I had already been invited several years ago by some of the virtuosi who lived there and had taken great pleasure in [performing] some of my printed music finally took place around Michaelmas, 1737. This trip took 8 months. In short, they pricked up the ears of people at the court and in the city so that they became very attentive and, in a short time, I received general approbation which was accompanied by even greater politeness."