Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/85

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TE DEUM.

the exact Orchestra employed by Purcell ; and, not long afterwards, Dr. Croft produced another work of the same kind, and for the same Instruments.

The next advance was a very important one. The first Sacred Music which Handel com- posed to English words was the 'Utrecht Te Deum,' the MS. of which is dated Jan. 14, 1 71 2. 1 Up to this time, Purcell's Te Deum had been annually performed, at S. Paul's, for the benefit of the 'Sons of the Clergy.' To assert that Handel's Te Deum in any way resembles it would be absurd : but both manifest too close an affinity with the English School to admit the possi- bility of their reference to any other ; and, both naturally fall into the same general form, which form Handel must necessarily have learned in this country, and most probably really did learn from Purcell, whose English Te Deum was then the finest in existence. The points in which the two works show their kinship, are, the massive solidity of their construction; the grave de- votional spirit which pervades them, from be- ginning to end ; and the freedom of their Subjects, in which the sombre gravity of true Ecclesiastical Melody is treated with the artless simplicity of a Volkslied. The third the truly national char- acteristic, and the common property of all our best English Composers was, in Purcell's case, the inevitable result of an intimate acquaintance with the rich vein of National Melody of which we are all so justly proud ; while, in Handel's, we can only explain it as the consequence of a power of assimilation which not only enabled him to make common cause with the School of his adoption, but to make himself one with it. The points in which the two compositions most prominently differ are, the more gigantic scale of the later work, and the fuller development of its Subjects. In contrapuntal resources, the Utrecht Te Deum is even richer than that with which Handel celebrated the Battle of Dettingen, fought June 27, 1743; though the magnificent Fanfare of Trumpets and Drums which intro- duces the opening Chorus of the latter, surpasses anything ever written to express the Thanks- giving of a whole Nation for a glorious victory. 2

The Dettingen Te Deum represents the cul- minating point of the festal treatment to which the Ambrosian Hymn has hitherto been sub- jected. A fine modern English setting is Sul- livan's, for Solos, Chorus, and Orchestra, com- posed to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales, and performed at the Crystal Palace. A more recent one is Macfarren's (1884). [W. S .R.]

TELEMANN, GEOBG PHILIPP, German com- poser, son of a clergyman, born at Magdeburg March 14, 1 68 1, and educated there and at Hildesheim. He received no regular musical training, but by diligently studying the scores of the great masters he mentions in particular Lully and Cainpra made himself master of the science of music. In 1700 he went to the

1 Old Style; representing Jan. 14, 1713, according to our present mode of reckoning.

2 For an account of the curious work which, of late years, has been o frequently quoted in connection with the Dettingen Te Deum, we must refer the reader to the article on UBIO, DOM FRANCESCO.

��TELEMANN.

university of Leipzig, and while carrying on studies in languages and science, became organisi. of the Neukirche, and founded a society among the students, called 'Collegium musicum.' In 1704 he became Capellmeister to a Prince Prom- nitz at Sorau, in 1708 Concertmeister, and then Capellmeister, at Eisenach, and, still retaining this post, became Musikdirector of the Church of St. Catherine, and of a society called ' Frau- enstein' at Frankfort in 1711, and also Capell- meister to the Prince of Bayreuth. In 1721 he was appointed Cantor of the Johanneum, and Musikdirector of the principal church at Ham- burg, posts which he retained till his death. He made good musical use of repeated tours to Berlin, and other places of musical repute, and his style was permanently affected by a visit of some length to Paris in 1737, when he became strongly imbued with French ideas and taste. He died June 25, 1767.

Telemann, like his contemporaries Matheson and Keiser, is a prominent representative of the Hamburg school in its prime during the first half of the i8th century. In his own day he was placed with Hasse and Graun as & composer of the first rank, but the verdict of posterity has been less favourable. With all his undoubted ability he originated nothing, but was content to follow the tracks laid clown by the old con- trapuntal school of organists, whose ideas and forms he adopted without change. His fertility was so marvellous that he could not even reckon up his own compositions; indeed it is doubtful whether he was ever equalled in this respect. He was a highly-skilled contrapuntist, and had, as might be expected from his great productive- ness, a technical mastery of all the received forms of composition. Handel, who knew him well, said that he could write a motet in 8 parts as easily as any one else could write a letter, and Schumann quotes an expression of his to the effect that 'a proper composer should be able to set a placard to 3 music': but these advantages were neutralised by his lack of any earnest ideal, and by a fatal facility naturally inclined to superficiality. He was over-addicted, even for his own day, to realism; this, though occasionally effective, especially in recitatives, concentrates the attention on mere externals, and is opposed to all depth of expression, and consequently to true art. His shortcomings are most patent in his church works, which are of greater historical importance than his operas and other music. The shallowness of the church- music of the latter half of the i8th century is distinctly traceable to Telemann's influence, al- though that was the very branch of composition in which he seemed to have everything in his favour position, authority, and industry. But the mixture of conventional counterpoint with Italian opera air, which constituted his style, was not calculated to conceal the absence of any true and dignified ideal of church music. And yet he composed 12 complete sets of services

s -Gesammelte Schriften,' ii. 235. Compare Bameau'i 'Qu'on ma donne la Gazette de Hollande.'

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