Telemann – Sonata for Viola da Gamba, TWV 40-1

Georg Philipp Telemann’s collection of Twelve Fantasias for Viola da Gamba Solo, TWV 40:26–37, was published in Hamburg in 1735, titled Fantaisies pour la Basse de Violle. The fantasias for viola da gamba were considered lost until an original print was found in a private collection in 2015. They were published by Edition Güntersberg in 2016, and first recorded and performed again by Thomas Fritzsch the same year.
Telemann printed the fantasias for viola da gamba in 1735 in his own publishing house in Hamburg. He undertook self-publishing, offering works by subscription: His subscriber lists include buyers from Amsterdam, London and Paris. He offered a 20% discount to subscribers to the fantasias. The fantasias are among Telemann’s collections of music for unaccompanied instruments, with others being twelve fantasias for solo flute (1732/33), twelve fantasias for solo violin (1735), and thirty-six pieces for harpsichord (1732–33).
Based on research by the French musicologist François-Pierre Goy, the fantasias, which had been thought to be lost, were found in 2015 in an archive of the State Archive of Lower Saxony [de] in Osnabrück. The archive held a complete copy of the music printed by Telemann in 1735 in the private collection from Schloss Ledenburg, now called Ledenburg Collection. The fantasias were published by Edition Güntersberg in 2016, with a facsimile of Telemann’s print. After their discovery, the fantasias were first performed by the gambist Thomas Fritzsch, who is also a musicologist teaching at the Leipzig University. Fritzsch played them for the first time after their rediscovery in two concerts as part of the 23rd Magdeburger Telemann-Festtage on 19 and 20 March 2016, along with a recording (made at the abbey church of Zscheiplitz) and the presentation of the edition.


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