Telemann’s Viol Fantaisies on the viola


When a long-lost set of Telemann bass viol fantaisies was found in a private collection a few years ago, Mikhail ‘Misha’ Galaganov set about arranging them for the viola. Here he explores the history of the works and reveals some of the challenges he encountered in his quest

Georg Philipp Telemann is one of the most important figures in Western music history. Self-taught in theory and composition, he excelled on various instruments in spite of having no professional instruction. Composition and musical invention came easily to him.

What made Telemann so influential? He made sacred music more emotive and accessible to the general populace; he created the first German-language music periodical; he was among those who set up music societies (collegia musica) around Germany; and he established series of concerts that were among the first for which admission was charged. He also was also the one who introduced to Germany the English process of making engraved plates from pewter instead of copper; and who was responsible for the huge popularity in Germany of the ouverture, a type of orchestral suite that originated in France with Jean-Baptiste Lully…

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