That monstrosity of tiny dense arpeggios is the Lilliputian Chaconne
-- both a visual joke, and a lovely (but tiny!) piece in its own right.
2. Telemann and Handel shared a craze for gardening
. In 1850, Handel even sent him "a crate of [exotic] flowers, which experts assure me are very choice and of admirable rarity."
3. Unlike many of his fellow composers, Telemann did not come from a musical family. Lacking role models and lessons, he had to teach himself. By the time he was twelve, he had taught himself to play the organ, recorder, violin, and zither, and composed an opera
-- leading his mother to forbid him to teach himself any more!
4. A customer of his once commissioned funeral music for a pet canary, killed by a cat.
This became the tragicomic ''Cantata of Funeral Music for an Artistically Trained Canary-Bird Whose Demise Brought the Greatest Sorrow to His Master," featuring lines like, "Brother Death spares no bird," and the bitter "Eat, then, let your neck swell up."
5. He claimed to have written 600 orchestral suites alone,
although only about 150 of them survive today. If you think that's an exaggeration, consider: he also composed more than 1,100 cantatas.
And that's not even counting his hundreds of chamber works, oratorios, passions, masses, and more than two dozen operas. (Oh -- and in his spare time, he wrote a satiric novel, and several books of poetry, including sonnets on the death of loved ones such as J.S. Bach.)
In fact, he's still in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most prolific composer of all time!