Music for a Mixed Taste: Style, Genre, and Meaning in Telemann's Instrumental Works

ISBN : 9780190247850

Steven Zohn
726 Pages
158 x 236 mm
Pub date
Jul 2015
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Georg Philipp Telemann gave us one of the richest legacies of instrumental music from the eighteenth century. Though considered a definitive contribution to the genre during his lifetime, his concertos, sonatas, and suites were then virtually ignored for nearly two centuries following his death. Yet these works are now among the most popular in the baroque repertory. In Music for a Mixed Taste, Steven Zohn considers Telemann's music from stylistic, generic, and cultural perspectives. He investigates the composer's cosmopolitan "mixed taste"-a blending of the French, Italian, English, and Polish national styles-and his imaginative expansion of this concept to embrace mixtures of the old (late baroque) and new (galant) styles. Telemann had an equally remarkable penchant for generic amalgamation, exemplified by his pioneering role in developing hybrid types such as the sonata in concerto style ("Sonate auf Concertenart") and overture-suite with solo instrument ("Concert en ouverture"). Zohn examines the extramusical meanings of Telemann's "characteristic" overture-suites, which bear descriptive texts associating them with literature, medicine, politics, religion, and the natural world, and which acted as vehicles for the composer's keen sense of musical humor. Zohn then explores Telemann's unprecedented self-publishing enterprise at Hamburg, and sheds light on the previously unrecognized borrowing by J.S. Bach from a Telemann concerto. Music for a Mixed Taste further reveals how Telemann's style polonaise generates musical and social meanings through the timeless oppositions of Orient-Occident, urban-rural, and serious-comic.


List of Abbreviations
List of Music Examples
List of Tables
List of Figures
Prologue: Styles and Sources
Part I: The Overture-Suites
One: Acquiring a Mixed Taste: Telemann as "Great Partisan of French Music"
Two: Telemann's Mimetic Art: The Characteristic Overture-Suites
Part II: The Concertos
Three: Never from the Heart? Telemann's Concertos
Four: Bach's Debt Repaid with Interest: A Cast Study of Transformative Imitation
Part III: The Sonatas
Five: "Something for Everyone's Taste": Telemann's Sonatas to 1725
Six: Telemann and the Sonata auf Concertenart
Part IV: The Hamburg Publications
Seven: Telemann in the Marketplace: The Composer as Self-Publisher
Eight: Telemann fur Kenner und Liebhaber: The Music of the Hamburg Publications
Nine: Telemann's Polish Style and the "True Barbaric Beauty" of the Musical Other
Index of Telemann's Compositions
General Index

About the author: 

Steven Zohn is Laura H. Carnell Professor of Music Studies at Temple University. The recipient of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the American Musicological Society, and the German Academic Exchange Service, he has published widely on the music of the German late baroque. He is also a noted performer on historical flutes.

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