Interesting Facts


Prominent artistic personalities comment on their personal relationship to Georg Philipp Telemann.


Ludwig Güttler (artist)

Do you remember your first encounter with Telemann’s music or do you associate a special experience with it?

To this end, I give you several answers that relate to different aspects of the question. The first time I heard the name of Georg Philipp Telemann in the 50s of the last century, when I heard his D major trumpet concerto on the radio, probably at Bayerischer Rundfunk. Soloist was Adolf Scheerbaum. The chamber orchestra of the Saarländischer Rundfunk played under Karl Ristenpart, if I remember correctly. I met Telemann’s music more intense as student of the Academy of Music, but in a special way by request from the Telemann Orchestra Blankenburg, initiated by Hans-Joachim Scheitzbach, then employed as Gewandhaus (later Komische Oper Berlin) cellist. He gave Eitelfriedrich Thom, head of the Telemann chamber orchestra Blankenburg, the recommendation to engage me, who was on the payroll, for the suite for trumpet, oboe, strings and basso continuo which was excavated by Willi Maertens.

Which Telemann composition(s) would you take with you to the legendary desert island?

This question is difficult to answer and worries me. Since I have to decide, however, because otherwise I would not get to the island, I would choose the D major suite for trumpet and orchestra just mentioned above and also his „Donner Ode“ („Thunder Ode)”.

What would you like to talk about with Telemann over a glass of wine?

First, I would ask him about the argument his mother sought when she wanted to take the “right path” for him. She had security and his financial livelihood in her mind and looked with suspicion at the world of music. I would ask him how that affected him and how he not only resisted this argument but accepted it as well-founded, but, nevertheless, his love for music won.
Then I would ask him what composers he has studied, absorbed, used and appreciated with which impulses and why.

What does Telemann have that other’s do not?

He has a urgent desire that is pushed from his own given world into other areas of the world with the help of music, in a way which I first observed with him.

[Source: Telemann aus Magdeburg. 50 Jahre betont. Program of the Magdeburg Telemann Festival, 9.-18. March 2012, page. 105.]