The German Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann, 1681-1767, was almost completely self-taught. His family intended that he should study law, but he chose a career in music instead. He held important positions in Leipzig and Frankfurt before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became musical director of that city’s five main churches. While Telemann’s career prospered, his personal life was always troubled: his first wife died only a few months after their marriage, and his second accumulated a large gambling debt before leaving him.
Telemann was one of the most prolific composers and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers. He was compared favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to George Frideric Handel, whom Telemann also knew personally. Telemann’s writings created the music which would define the German Lutheran choral tradition.
For the First Sunday of Advent the LOTI Church Choir and guest instrumental ensemble from the Lake Strong Quartet will perform one of Telemann’s most popular compositions, Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Gates. It is a cantata based on a portion of the text from Psalm 24. Who is this King of glory? It is the LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and let the King enter in. Among the copies of this cantata which have been handed down is a copy by J. S. Bach which bears testimony to the high respect he paid to his then more celebrated colleague from Hamburg: Bach performed the cantata himself in the Thomas Church in Leipzig in 1734.
Join us on the First Sunday of Advent with a festive collage of trumpet music from Torelli and Buxtehude, as well as the marching rhythms of our own Salvation Army band.