Interesting Facts


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

Paul Dombrecht
Michi Gaigg
Reinhard Goebel
Ludwig Güttler
Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Wolfgang Hirschmann
Felix Koch
Dorothee Oberlinger
Siegfried Pank
Burkhard Schmilgun

Peter Schreier
David Stern
Siegfried Pank (artist)

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

The beginning of my musical acquaintance with Telemann lay in the early 1960s. I participated in a concert series of Baroque chamber music in Leipzig, where the music of Telemann played an important role. Popular, cheerful-moving was the „Kanarienvogel-Cantata", which we often performed with dedication and success.

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

The score of the two excerpts from Klopstock's „Messiah" TV WV 6:4a/b „Sing unsterbliche Seele” („Sing Immortal Soul”) and „Mirjam, und deine Wehmut, Debora” („Mirjam, and your Sorrow, Debora”) with its accompanying phonogram. If I were to be a shipwrecked man, floating on the case of my gamba on to this lonely island, I would


like to have the fifteenth and sixteenth lection from the „Getreuen Music-Meister” („True Music Master”) with me and meditate under a palm tree or on a rock reef for the bridging of loneliness into the infinite silence.

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

How did Maestro Telemann cope with his workload without today's technical and digital tools, which were supposed to be time-saving? How did he deal with his musicians and how did they play? How does he see our endeavor to keep his works alive and - perhaps? - in his sense?

What does Telemann have that other’s do not?

The universality of a musician (including the mastery of several instruments), of a musical theorist, poet, educator, organizer, publisher ... He often devoted his compositions to “connoisseurs and lovers”, thus taking into account a wide circle of musicians. This, then and now, contributed to the exceptional distribution and popularity of his music.

[Source: Telemann aus Magdeburg. 50 Jahre betont. Program of the Magdeburg Telemann Festival, 9.-18. March 2012, page 91.]