As a Hamburg-based musician Matthias Höfs has a special relationship with Georg Philipp Telemann, who was a very successful composer of operas at the city’s opera house on the Gänsemarkt. As director of music for the five parish churches of Hamburg, Telemann made a decisive contribution to the sacred music performed at those institutions. And it has not taken the 250th anniversary of his death, on June 25, 2017, for Telemann to be acknowledged as one of the most efficacious Baroque composers alongside J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel.
Matthias Höfs played solo trumpet in opera for 16 years with the Philharmonic State Orchestra of Hamburg and now gives concerts all over the world, enjoying an acclaimed reputation. On his new album the star trumpeter presents works by Telemann together with the estimable Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
Matthias Höfs is well aware of Telemann’s versatility. The fact that this Jack-of-all-trades made a significant contribution to the trumpet literature and composed three trumpet concertos is not widely known. "We are all familiar with the brilliant trumpet parts in the works of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, such as the Christmas Oratorio, the B minor Mass and Messiah. Telemann occupies a special place in the ranks of the Baroque composers when it comes to us trumpet players, because neither Bach nor Handel dedicated a single solo concerto to the instrument. Telemann composed no fewer than three fantastic trumpet concertos and a sonata, which are for me among the loveliest of their genre," the musician writes in the album booklet. As well as performing Telemann’s original trumpet concertos, Matthias Höfs presents delicate chamber music works for a small ensemble on his new album; all works which cannot be played in this way on a historic Baroque trumpet. In this way, he illustrates the instrument’s development over the past 300 years. Colourful music-making is equally possible on modern trumpets, while today’s musicians benefit from the technical refinements of present-day instruments.
In the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie of Bremen the trumpeter has found his ideal musical partners for this project. The ensemble has enthused international audiences with energetic music-making and its extraordinary sound. "It was a sheer delight for me to re-discover Telemann’s music with the musicians of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie," admits Matthias Höfs.
Matthias Höfs has developed a truly musical pioneering spirit to continually explore the scope of his instrument – whether through close collaboration with contemporary composers who have been inspired by his inimitable virtuosity and his eagerness to experiment, whether as an “ambassador of the trumpet” in his home state of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany or through his long-term cooperation with the instrument makers Max and Heinrich Thein. Since the mid-1980s Matthias Höfs has been a member of the German Brass ensemble, with which he has toured the world to great acclaim. Since their first concert in 1985 he has been writing tailor-made arrangements for the ensemble: versions that are innovative, sustainable and which transcend genres to inspire the world of brass music.