Choosing Telemann’s Suite as a Safe-Haven

Souvenir from a walk. © Charles Thibo

I should listen more often to Georg Philipp Telemann’s music. It is so rewarding. It is late at night and I feel the urge to write this post right now, right here. During a wonderful walk this afternoon, I experienced a deep feeling of serenity. That’s one element. Right now, I am wide awake and I need to write, something, anything before I go to sleep. That’s the other element. That full consciousness and the gratitude for this deep serenity are powerful emotions, filling me with energy, with joy, with self-confidence. Acknowledging these emotions was important to me, realizing: I am alive. This is me. I am grateful for that. It’s a feeling I often miss in my daily routine. And that’s where Telemann comes into play. Literally.

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Charming by the Mere Powers of the Bow

© Charles Thibo

Arcangelo Corelli is my secret Baroque hero. Despite my veneration of Johann Sebastian Bach, Corelli’s music exerts a singular attraction upon me. His individual style, the fact that in his works the solemn element is always perfectly balanced by the entertaining aspect always triggers my admiration anew. Charles Burney, the famous 18th-century music historian, noted that Corelli’s works “contributed longer to charm the lovers of Music by the mere powers of bow, without the assistance of the human voice, than those of any composer that has yet existed.” The Italian was known and celebrated as violinist and composer all over Europe, and Rome’s music life was unthinkable without Corelli as long as he lived.

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It took a while until I understood. A right-extremist attack had targeted a synagogue in Halle/Saale, my former hometown. A town I had grown fond of. Two people were killed, the attacker filmed the attack and uploaded it to social networks. A few years ago, another attacker had killed several people in Munich where I had lived before I moved to Halle. In Halle, the Jewish believers had barricaded the door of the synagogue and prevented a bloodshed. The frustrated attacker then shot two by-passers. Random targets. It could have been anyone, me, you.

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Good night! © Charles Thibo

A quarrel. Reconciliation. The return of peace. A piece of music to call it a day. Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni published in 1700 his Sinfonie a cinque per due violini, alto, tenore, violoncello e basso, op. 2, a collection of several sonatas and concertos, and the one in C major perfectly fit the purpose: to celebrate reconciliation and to end the day with a light heart.

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