Georg Philipp Telemann

Overture: Burlesque de Quichotte, suite for strings & continuo in G major, TWV 55:G10

    Description by James Reel

    Telemann wrote several freestanding orchestral suites of character pieces, along the lines of what Rameau and Couperin did on the harpsichord, but his Don Quixote suite is actually drawn from an opera, Don Quixote der Löwenritter, inspired by the famous Cervantes novel. The first movement is a not-quite-conventional French overture. Its opening Largo section, complete with the standard dotted rhythms, includes some comically swooping figures and the ornaments have a strong shuddering effect. The ensuing Allegro fugal section is playful and hyperactive, but hardly engages in serious counterpoint.

    Now ensues a series of short movements either illustrating certain Don Quixote adventures or setting particular scenes. The Andantino, "Awakening of Don Quixote," is a brief pastoral piece with light Spanish inflections. Now awake and modestly armed, the Knight of the Mournful Countenance launches a Moderato assault: "His Attack on the Windmills," a spirited rendition of the famous scene in which Quixote believes himself to be charging on a gang of giants.

    "Sighs of Love for Princess Aline" is an Andante in which Quixote turns his thoughts to the princess known as Dulcinea, who is actually a peasant girl. Almost every measure of this movement features a two-note, descending "sighing" figure. The next movement introduces the knight's squire; it's an allegro moderato called "Sancho Panza Swindled," an inverse of the Aline movement in that here the principal motif is a humorously rising two-note figure.

    Two brief equestrian movements follow: an allegretto called "Rosinante Galloping," a surprisingly graceful but by no means fast minuet depicting Quixote's old steed; the next movement, "The Gallop of Sancho Panza's Mule," is actually the minuet's measured, hesitant trio, followed by a brief repeat of the "Rosinante" music. Finally comes a vivace movement counter-intuitively titled "Don Quixote at Rest," far more of a gallop than what was just heard, and presumably music to accompany Quixote's dreams of great adventure.


    1. Ouverture. Maestoso
    2. Le Réveil de Quixotte
    3. Son Attaque des Moulins a Vent. Très vite
    4. Les Soupirs amoureux après la Princesse Dulcinée
    5. Sanche Panche berné
    6. Le Galope de Rosinante
    7. Celui d'Ane de Sanche
    8. Le couché de Quixotte

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 BIS BIS 2256
    2017 Brilliant Classics 95440
    2016 Avie AVR 2353
    2016 Alpha 256
    2015 Musica Viva MV 103
    2015 Brilliant Classics 95150
    2015 Ars Produktion / Ars Produktion ARS 38190
    2012 Agogique AG 005
    2011 Ambronay AMY 302
    2008 Berlin Classics 0184462
    2007 Classic Mania 93320
    2007 Arte Nova Classics 340280
    2006 Brilliant 93041
    2005 Raumklang 2502
    2005 Koch International Classics 7576
    2005 Gega New 286
    2003 Chandos 700
    2003 Naxos 8554019
    2003 Extraplatte 546
    2002 BIS 1226
    2001 Capriccio Records 51027
    2000 Analekta 23138
    1997 Arte Nova 74321 34028-2
    1996 Berlin Classics 0092622
    1995 Gallo 723
    1994 DHM Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77321
    1994 Omega Music Poland 1006
    1991 Decca 430265
    Capriccio Records 134
    FSM Adagio 97739
    MusicMasters 67022
    Manchester 171