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Telemann - Poland’s Honorary Composer. Telemann – A Source of Polish Inspirations
Event type: Simply Philharmonic!
Hall: Chamber Music Hall
Subscription: PPF6 - Simply... Philharmonic!
Price: Dorośli – 30 zł, młodzież – 15 zł

In our cycle we present another meeting with the music of one of the greatest Baroque composers, forgotten for nearly two centuries, but now triumphantly returning. Telemann’s vast output is highly original and frequently extravagant. This project demonstrates the German composer’s fascination with Polish, or more generally – Slavic folklore, in the context of the common Baroque preoccupation with the problem of national styles in music.

“When the said court moved for half a year to Pless (now Pszczyna), the von Promnitz family’s manor in Upper Silesia, I became familiar – both in Pless and in Cracow – with Polish and Hanák (Moravian) music in all its truly barbaric beauty.” This is how Telemann recalled his rather brief (1704-1708) but fruitful period of service at the court of the mighty von Promnitz family, residing mainly in Sorau (now Żary). The first concert of this project is an attempt to reconstruct the likely (though impossible to establish with any certainty) sources of Telemann’s Slavic inspirations. We know that he was fascinated by the sound of bagpipes and the spectacular displays of fiddlers. “It is hard to believe what fantastic ideas these pipers and fiddlers come up with when they begin to play their fantasies during intervals between dances. If an attentive man could collect those ideas for just one week, this would suffice for a lifetime…,” Telemann recalled. He found inspiration in what he saw as exotic-sounding rhythms and peculiar modalisms. These fascinations found a reflection in his music. “Since then I have written many grand concertos and trios in this style, dressing them up in Italian costume, with changeable adagios and allegros.” Telemann’s fascination exemplifies the Baroque composers’ preoccupation with the concept of national styles. One of these, listed by contemporary theoreticians on a par with others, was the “Polish style”. 


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