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About this Piece

Because Telemann could not manage to keep himself occupied directing the music for five churches in Hamburg, running an opera house and a collegium musicum, writing poetry, and composing more music than anyone else in history, he got into publishing, seeing 40 volumes of his own music through the presses between 1725 and 1740. His 1733 Tafelmusik (“Table music” or “banquet music”) was a successful subscription venture (the subscribers were mostly French and German; the only English subscriber was his friend Handel) that consisted of three “productions,” each comprising an orchestral suite (called an ouverture), solo sonata, trio, quartet, concerto, and “conclusion.” Tafelmusik shows Telemann’s flair for practicality. Each production is usable as either an anthology of five independent works or, if performed from beginning to end, as an entire evening’s entertainment.