Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) the son of a clergyman, was self-taught in music and became the most prolific composer of his time. As a child he had a rare gift for music, but it was taken for granted that he would follow his father and turn to the church for his livelihood. At that time the musical profession was still held by many scholars and citizens to be inferior and disreputable. Despite all his mothers efforts to dissuade him - popular legend has it that she even confiscated his music and instruments - this persecution only led to a secret rebellion as he describes in his first autobiography of 1718: "My fire burned far too brightly, and lighted my way into the path of innocent disobedience, so that I spent many a night with pen in hand because I was forbidden it by day, and passed many an hour in lonely places with borrowed instruments." Whilst at the gymnasium in Hildesheim in his late teens, Telemann understood the necessity to play and understand the instruments he was to compose for. In addition to his considerable ability on the violin, recorder and harpsichord, he took up the oboe, transverse flute, viola da gamba, double bass, trombone and many others.