Sonata a Due (1728)
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Soprano and Alto Sax or Tenor and Bari Saxophone Duet
Sonata a Due (TWV 40-111) by Georg Philipp Telemann arranged for Soprano and Alto Sax or Tenor and Bari Saxophone Duet. It was originally published in a musical periodical titled “Der getreue Musikmeister” (The Faithful Music Master). There are editions of this sonata in several keys. The best known is for flute and violin in the key of G major but Telemann also made it available in the key of B flat for recorder and violin, as well as A major for two violas. This version is in the key of E flat and is intended for soprano and alto or tenor and bari saxophone duet.
The sonata has four short movements that follow the pattern “slow, fast, slower, faster”. It’s not technically difficult and makes a good introduction to Baroque literature for students. Its simple melodies and appealing rhythms will make it popular with your audience as well.
- The range for each saxophone part is shown below.
- Audio and score excerpts are available above.
- Registered users can download a complete sample score and full length audio file of Sonata a Due
Telemann on the ‘Samples’ tab.
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767) was a German Baroque composer. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family’s wishes. Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually settled on a career in music. He held important positions in Leipzig, Eisenach, and Frankfurt before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became musical director of the city’s five main churches.
Telemann was and still is one of the most prolific composers in history. His complete catalog comprises more than 3,000 compositions. Many of these works have been lost and just as many have not been performed since the 18th century. In his day he was considered by as one of the leading German composers of the time. He was compared favorably both to his friends Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. In the 19th century Telemann’s popularity came to a sudden halt. Critics assumed that anyone who wrote such a tremendous amount of music favored quantity over quality. The critics were later disproved and in the 20th century Telemann’s music began to be respected again.
Telemann’s music incorporates several national styles (French, Italian, German). He remained at the forefront of new musical developments and his music is an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles. Telemann wrote in all popular genres of his time: opera, cantata, church music, orchestral suites, instrumental chamber music, and solo keyboard music.
Telemann was one of the first composers to pursue exclusive publication rights for his works. He set one of the most important early precedents regarding music as the intellectual property of the composer. The same attitude informed his public concerts, where he would frequently perform music originally composed for ceremonies attended only by a select few members of the upper class. His music deserves a place equal to Bach and Handel’s, as the pinnacle of the high Baroque style, and even as a driving force behind the early classical style developed Haydn and Mozart.