BEEP 18

Exotic Gardening
By the late 17th century, ordinary people in N Europe, rather than just the aristocracy, had the opportunity to design and plant gardens with newly imported plants from Turkey, Americas, India, South Africa etc. The tulip from Turkey was one such import – and has remained very popular, especially in Holland, to this day. Formal landscape/garden designs in France were developed by Le Notre (3 snails & a cabbage?) in mid 17thc. at Versailles. These designs, simplified, and on a much reduced scale, formed the basis of Dutch garden design in the baroque period. Dutch interest in formal landscape design on a domestic scale, and their expertise as gardeners, influenced horticulture and garden design throughout Europe, especially in England & Germany.

Both Handel and Telemann became interested in gardening. Handel established a formal garden behind his large town-house in London, in 1740’s, and planted with new ‘exotic’ species from around the world. Telemann also became interested in cultivating exotic plants; something of a fad in Hamburg at that time. Although they presumably each made decisions as to the choice of plants and the design of the garden, lowly gardeners would have done the actual work.

18thc. Music in GERMANY

Although born in Germany, Handel composed the majority of his music in London, and is considered by many to be an ‘English’ composer.
Johann Sebastian Bach, organist, viola player, and prolific composer of liturgical, chamber, orchestral, & keyboard music needs little introduction. Many of his compositions are widely known, including the following:

Georg Philipp Telemann is considered to be the most prolific composer in the baroque, or any other era with over 3000  works, including music for orchestra & chamber ensembles, keyboard, solo sonatas, church music, & operas Рmany of the compositions are now lost.

Sylvius Leopold Weiss, although now less well known that the more famous German baroque composers, was one of the most important and most prolific composers of lute music in history, and one of the best-known and most technically accomplished lutenists of his day. He wrote more than 1000 pieces for lute, of which about 850 attributed pieces have survived.

Johann Joachim Quantz was a German flutist, flute maker and baroque music composer. He composed hundreds of flute sonatas and concertos, and wrote On Playing the Flute, a treatise on flute performance. The treatise is an excellent guide to modern day performers of baroque music, especially with regard to ornamentation – trills etc. Although the treatise is mainly concerned with the flute, there are chapters on other instruments, including strings, and one on how to play continuo. For many years Quantz was flute teacher, flute maker, and composer at the Berlin court of Frederick II (the Great), King of Prussia.

-Richard Webb