1723: Telemann: Water Music, age 45

Alfredo Bernardini/Zefiro Baroque Orchestra

  1.  Ouverture in C major 0:01
  2. Sarabande: The sleeping Thetis 7:49
  3. Bourrée: Thetis awakening 10:23
  4. Loure: Neptune in love 12:11
  5. Gavotte: Playing Naiads 13:55
  6. Harlequinade: The joking Triton 14:48
  7. Tempête: The stormy Aeolus 16:16
  8. Menuett: The pleasant Zephir 18:18
  9. Gigue: Ebb and Flow 21:13
  10. Canarie: The merry Boat People 22:18


  • 2 oboes
  • strings

Telemann composed the piece in ten movements to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Hamburg Admiralty in a performance on 6 April 1723.

The overture begins by representing the physical movement of the ocean, followed by several dance movements: first, the sleeping sea goddess Thetis, the mother of Achilles, who then awakes; the sea god Neptune in love; playful water nymphs known as Naiads; Neptune’s son and sea messenger Triton joking; Aeolus, ruler of the winds; and Zephir, god of the west wind. Two final pieces follow, one depicting the tides of Hamburg and finally, its happy sailors.

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