View Full Version : Zelenka Society

Shaun Wigley
07-01-2007, 07:56 AM
Hi All,

Wouldn't it be great to form a Zelenka Society in the future? Just food for thought.



07-01-2007, 04:08 PM
Yo Shaun !

What ideas and activities for the Zelenka society do you have in mind ?

Here is some thoughts;
As I understand it, this site is sponsored. But next year it will not be sponsored anymore. In worst case the site will go down. A really sad thought indeed.

If we form a society, members can each year pay a small amount of money to rent space somewhere so this site can still exist. The more members we get, the less we pay for site.

In a way, we have already something forming. Alistair being site manager and the sole reason why this site came into being. We have people writing in forum, and Skiaouros and me creating midi and mp3 of unrecorded works.

In the long run I hope a group of Zelenka fans can pull the right strings so more of his works get recorded. Sadly most recordings coming out last few years are either more instrumental works already recorded several times, or old recordings being re-produced.

Hope to get feedback on this.


08-01-2007, 09:44 AM
Thanks for explaining the situation G-A, and for your suggestion, Shaun.

To me it seems as if there really is a good Zelenka following. Many of the people who have contacted me over the past 5 years have been long-term followers of Zelenka's music and collectors of Zelenka CDs. Some have just "discovered" Zelenka and are hungry for more.

Having said that, I think there is a difference between being interested and in being committed. I would guess that there are very few people who are committed enough to follow the idea of a Zelenka Society.

If I remember correctly, there was/is a Zelenka Society in the Czech Republic (which could be reached at www.jandismaszelenka.com) but the website disappeared about 3 years ago as their proposed ventures were not funded.

In my opinion, for the idea to work, it would have to start small and those involved would have to show that they are really committed.

By committed I mean:

Prepared to communicate by e-mail on a regular basis (e.g. answering within 1-3 days)

Prepared to post regularly on the forum

Prepared to contribute in a positive way that would be seen or felt by the others

Even prepared to meet up

I would say that the idea of money having to be paid is not so important in the beginning. It could perhaps be voluntary to pay, say, 50 dollars or less a year towards maintenance of the website. Indirectly, this would be a payment for the existence of the forum.

For a small group of people - which to my eyes roughly corresponds to those we see contributing regularly to the forum - "Zelenka Society" is perhaps too fancy a term.

Perhaps what I am getting at is that such a group would be small but not exclusive. The members would exclude themselves by failing to contribute. Then we would always know the sheep from the goats!

Shaun Wigley
09-01-2007, 02:51 AM
Hi G.Reuss and Alistair,

Thanks for replying and explaining the circumstances. Apologies also for my delay in replying but I needed time to give this thought.

I've never been a member of a society of a particular composer so I'm not too sure exactly how they would work. What I was thinking of was a world wide group of Zelenka enthusiasts in which there would be sub-groups in various parts of the world which would encourage the performance of music in that part of the world. There could be perhaps sub-groups, for example, in the UK, US, Sweden, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Japan and Australasia. Every now and then, there could be a journal published featuring articles by musicologists and reviews of CDs and performances. The society could also sell CDís of community groups who have performed Zelenkaís music. This society could not only be dedicated to the performance and promotion of Zelenka's music but also that of his contemporaries in Vienna and Dresden such as Fux, Pisendel, Heinechen etc.

This is just food for thought and as outlined by Alistair, would not work unless we have a strong enough following and there are committed people out there. I'm thinking several years down the track.

As far as keeping these forums active, a temporary solution may be to move the forums to Yahoo.com. To the best of my knowledge, theose forums are free to establish and use.



09-01-2007, 08:46 AM
Hi, Shaun

It's good to know your thoughts. These are more long-term than I had expected, and I see no reason why a Zelenka Society could not evolve from what we have now.

Having read my own ravings again (see above), I think what I was getting at is that a Zelenka network has to be seen to function long before a Zelenka Society can be formed.

The Yahoo business is fine, but there is no real advantage to having a free forum. The one we have is free as long as the Discover Zelenka website exists. The website itself is expanding mainly because of many-megabyte MP3 files arriving every week, not because there are so many contrributions to the forum!

I see your point if a Yahoo forum has a higher profile than the one we have. But would it, though, given that we already have the address www.zelenkaforum.net?

10-01-2007, 01:29 AM
Hi all,

the idea of a Zelenka society is indeed very exciting. In my opinion this is something to aim for in the future when the Forum has gained more momentum with more members and contributions. There are many ways to do this but of course it takes commitment, time and funding. But I think the foundations and the will is already here through the work of Alistair.

If - down the line - someone would take the responsibility for this I see no reason why it couldn't be successful, with bi-annual meetings, publications etc. As a member of the Fasch Society I have been very impressed by the dedication of the people who are behind it and there is already a lasting monument of research and publications about this fantastic composer, who as many will know had strong connections to the Dresden Court.

The key to this could be the people of Dresden and Prague. After all there have been two conferences there, in 1991 and 1995, both of which have resulted in brilliant publications. How about a conference in Dresden in 2010 or 2011 - when there will be 300 years since Zelenka entered the service of Court?

Finally I am glad to report that there are two new books on our composer, one in French and the first biography in Czech. See below.