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Graupner & Telemann: Trios for Viola d'Amore and Flute / Harmonie Universelle-Atlanta

Notes & Reviews:

The modern reputation of Christoph Graupner (1683-1760) has suffered severely because until recently the only thing that has been widely known of him is that he was the second choice of the Leipzig City Council to success Johann Kuhnau as Music Director for the city and cantor of the Thomasschule - the position for which Telemann was the first choice, and which was finally filled by Johann Sebastian Bach. So large has Bach loomed in the musical imaginations ofthe last two centuries that it has been all too easy to dismiss the Leipzig council as idiots and the two candidates ahead of Bach as musical hacks. The dismissal of Telemann and Graupner was made all the easier by years of performing their music in a style (the performing-style of the early 20th century Neo Classicists) that made their music sound dull and mechanical - "sewing machine music." The rediscovery of the tone-colors through the use of instruments as they existed then (so-called "period" instruments) and the way that they were played, a process that has been on-going for over a century now, has revealed that Telemann and Graupner and their contemporaries were composers of great imagination and wit, and capable of profundity as well. It has also revealed that they, and Bach as well, were masters on instrumental color, possibly even the equals of Berlioz and Rimsky-Korsakov and Respighi, given the resources at their disposal.


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