You are here
Born: 1681, Magdeburg,
Died: 1767, Hamburg, Germany
"Follow the rules, and know how to sell the goods. Give each instrument what it likes to play. Then the musician will find pleasure, and you will find satisfaction."
More successful in his own lifetime than his contemporary J.S. Bach, Telemann was so prolific, it is said that he lost track of the sheer number of works he had composed. His friend Handel said that Telemann could write an eight-part contrapuntal motet as easily as anyone else could write a letter.
Born in Magdeburg, Germany, Telemann wound up working in the north German port city of Hamburg, and traveled to Berlin and Paris. Extremely well-read, he had a life-long engagement with word-setting, and continued to produce vocal masterpieces into his eighties. His musical outlook was more cosmopolitan than most other composers of his day, and he absorbed influences from across Europe, writing works for every genre imaginable.