Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 19 of 19

Thread: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Iceland
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

    Friends,

    at last I had a chance to write up my report on the Zelenka Festival and Conference, which has just ended in Prague. I see that Xanaseb and rnkt have already posted their comments about the concerts, and I don’t have much to add to that at the moment.

    I was very excited about the conference, mainly because of the presence of the Bach scholar Michael Maul. Knowing the groundbreaking archival work he has done as a part of his job at the Bach-Archiv Leipzig, this promised to be something. And it was. In his paper Maul presented a stunning new Zelenka document: an unknown letter in German written (by a copyist) from our composer in November 1740, where he vouched for the musical qualities of one Christian Siegmund Nitzschner, who was applying for the cantor and organist position in Pirna, a city in Saxony close to Dresden. From this document we learn that this Nitzschner, of whom we know absolutely nothing until know, was a fine musician and well qualified on numerous instruments and in the art of singing, and that Zelenka had taught him composition “fundamenta". Nitzschner's own petition to the city council in Pirna referred to his studies with the “berühmte (famous)” Zelenka. Amazingly, Nitzscher did not get the post he applied for as he was considered to be too old, even though prime minister Count Brühl, the most powerful man in the Saxony beside August III, also wrote a recommendation for Nitzscher and thus placing an enormous pressure on the Pirna authorities.

    The importance of this document is truly great:
    1. We learn of another Zelenka student. Sadly, no compositions seem to exist from Nitzschner’s pen.
    2. It was the obligation of court musicians in Dresden to nurture young musicians and train promising prospects for possible entry into the court orchestra. However, in this case Nitzschner was 53 years old and therefore no youngster anymore, which leads one to believe that he paid Zelenka for his studies. I also believe that he can not have been the only “outside” paying student/customer of Zelenka like this and if true, then the composer could have supplemented his salary considerably with his teachings. But it must be said also that we do not know when Nitzschner studied with Zelenka – most likely it was in the 1730s but perhaps even earlier.
    3. Nitzschner's reference to the “famous" Zelenka is yet another proof of the esteem in which he was held at the time.
    4. Next to Zelenka’s signature in the letter is his seal in red wax: this is the first and only example we have of this. Unfortunately, we could not see from the scan the details no doubt found in the seal – his official stamp of approval. All will be revealed by Maul in the published conference proceedings.
    5. New Zelenka documents are still surfacing!!

    Jan Stockigt read two papers – first her own overview of the events of the momentous year of 1733, when Saxon Elector and Polish King August II died in Warsaw and his son and successor Friedrich August took over the reigns. He had already by late 1730 taken over the direction of the court orchestra from his father, as I have demonstrated in my article on Zelenka’s secular vocal collection. Based on entries in published court documents, entries in the Jesuit diaries and the Jesuit letters to Rome, diary entries of the young Crown Prince Friedrich Christian, plus the known activities/petitions of the Dresden musicians and musical events, Stockigt presented a calender table for the whole year, each month and the most important dates. Many new conclusions can be reached when seeing the events of the year presented this way, the most important outcome of which is, in my opinion, Jan’s very well argued hypothesis that Missa Eucaristica (ZWV 15) was performed at the end of May that year. Also, by listing in details of the Erbhuldigung (homage) ceremonies held in the various Saxon cities for Friedrich August as the new Elector, Stockigt was able to demonstrate the religious shift of new ruler: the court was now going full blast Catholic, while August II had danced an admirable ballet between the two religions – Protestant and Catholic – after his conversion in 1697, in order to gain the Polish Crown.

    Unfortunately, Andrew Frampton had to cancel his conference appearance, but Jan Stockigt (as his mentor and supervisor in Melbourne) saved the day by reading his thesis study on the Missa Sancti Spiritus (ZWV 4). Having heard Stockigt speak well about this scholar for many years, this was my first exposure to Andrew's research on the manuscript sources of Zelenka. And I and others were very impressed: this was forensic work that uncovered the full compositional history of the Mass and its revisions, through watermarks, palaeography and handwriting. It is hoped that Andrew will devote more of his time to Zelenka studies.

    Claudia Lubkoll cancelled her talk on the paper and watermark sources on Zelenka’s Psalms, which was a real shame given that in last year’s conference her insights brought a fresh new angle on Zelenka’s compositions. Anselm Hartinger also cancelled his much anticipated talk but once again Jan Stockigt came to the rescue by supplying an unpublished paper about the Italian and French styles in Dresden and the mixed style ("vermischter Geschmack”). Michaela Freemanová, who moderated the conference, read the paper on Stockigt’s behalf. Afterwards, a discussion took place on the terminology in use of the works of Zelenka and others, of the French and Italian, f.e. Hautbois/Oboe, or Sonata or Suonata. Did this perhaps refer to the different way of interpreting the music in question? I look forward to see Stockigt’s conclusions in what is hopefully a forthcoming publication of her study.

    Wolfgang Horn discussed the compositional forms of the late Masses, while Clemens Harasim examined Zelenka’s Magnifcat settings in context with other versions of this text. It will be great to see their studies in print in the forthcoming conference publication.

    To conclude: Like last year, this second Zelenka Festival Conference brought us much new information. But is it possible to have a conference every year with new information and insights into Zelenka’s music? This is the big question and it was much debated amongst the participants this year. I do think this is achievable, but it will only happen if there is more input from the Czech musicologists and/or students of the music of the baroque period. The lack of Czech speakers this year was surprising, and begs the question: why is there no serious systematic research/study project being undertaken in the higher educational institutes in Zelenka's country of birth, now, for what seems to be a very long period? At the same time his music is being championed by all the great Czech baroque ensembles, such as Adam Viktora and his Ensemble Inegale, Vaclav Luks and his Collegium 1704, Marek Stryncl and his Musica Florea, Jana Semerádová and her Collegium Marianum, and last but not least the pioneer Robert Hugo and his Musica Regia. The balance doesn’t seem to be right here.

    But, something wonderful has come out of this all, thanks to Adam and Gabriela. The last year’s proceedings have now been published for all to see, see the link provided by Xanaseb above, containing a wealth of new information which I hope will be welcomed by all Zelenka lovers. Also, Odie, one of the members of the Forum who I had the great pleasure of meeting before the last concert, showed us a recent study which, I think, discussed a church cantor somewhere in the Czech lands, who performed a wide range of Zelenka works over a long period in the years after WWII. A reception study such as this would have belonged to the conference. So, perhaps Czech musicologists are working on our Zelenka after all, but I usually draw blank looks from my Czech colleagues when I ask about these things.

    Finally, one of the best things was the chance to finally meet in person and spend time with some of the contributers to this Forum, like rnkt who was there with his head full of Zelenka, and his exciting plans for making an edition for the keyboard as we have followed here in the Forum. And Xanaseb, whose very impressive knowledge and burning passion for Zelenka we all know so well. I do hope that Jan Stockigt managed to infect him further with the Zelenka virus in their many meetings during the week in Prague, as indeed happened to me in Dresden back in 2005 – a life-altering moment which led to a very rewarding path of discovery with Zelenka.
    Last edited by djdresden; 20-11-2016 at 09:56 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

    Hi everybody,

    I intend to translate the thesis into English, when I have a time, and send it to Dr. Stockigt (the original study in Czech can be found here - for instance, the page 89 of the pdf is of special interest ). By this, hopefully, a Czech speaker will emerge at the Conference next year...

    Also, here is a very bad photo of our meeting before the Saturday´s concert
    DSC_0035.jpg

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

    Right, so I decided that I won´t have time for this in any foreseeable future, so here is, at least, a list of performances, that included the music from our composer, directed by Jiří Pilát in Czechoslovakia from 1959 to 2003: https://uloz.to/!hb0eigKGJ4qv/seznam...denych-del-pdf. It features some, very, very, very exciting items...

    Cheers and good night
    Last edited by odie; 18-11-2016 at 01:35 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Germany, near Pisendel's place
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

    Quote Originally Posted by odie View Post
    Also, here is a very bad photo of our meeting before the Saturday´s concert
    DSC_0035.jpg
    Zelenka was constantly distracting us, so we (nearly all) forgot to pose! Anyway, not a bad photo. On the right, the seasoned academics (djdresden and Jan Stockigt) and on the left the young (and not so young) upstarts and future seasoned academics (xanaseb :-) ), from left to right, testudo, xanaseb, rnkt

  5. #15

    Default Re: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

    Many thanks for all the accounts of the Zelenka festival 2016! Hope to attend next time.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    York + Bournemouth UK
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

    Thanks to Djdresden for covering the Conference, and the questions it raises for the future. I'll just add some more notes:

    Wolfgang Horn's talk was about the forms&genres for Choruses / Choir pieces through all of Zelenka's Mass settings. This follows from his paper from last year which surveyed Zelenka's Mass arias. He focused especially on ZWV 19, Missa Dei Patris. He said that if he were to choose the best Mass from the Missae Ultimae, he would pick this over Missa O.S ZWV 21, which was surprising to hear [though, I have to say that for a long time it remained my favourite piece of Zelenka's]. One of the reasons for his choice is the Credo, which he showed by examples was the epitome of Zelenka's "Extensive-concertato-ritornello-chorus" genre. Horn identifies this genre as category 'd.' alongside 4 other genres (a. Choir "blocks" - short and homophonic, b. Short fugues - expressive or conventional, c. Long Allegro Choir fugues, e. Through-composed chorus (ie. Credo from ZWV 16&21)). Category d. is where Zelenka is 'most in his own', according to Horn, and where he is most experimental. Very commonly it is found in the 'Gloria'. The most distinctive characteristic is the use of orchestral Ritornello which then interplays with the Choir and is experimented / played around with. Then, the Ritornello is re-used at the end, BUT with the addition of a completely new theme. This is called the 'Einbau' technique, and Horn said that it can be found as far back as Missa Sanctae Caecilliae ZWV 1 (c.1711+). This was the most interesting observation, and he asked the question: How was Zelenka so aware and proficient in this form at such an early stage in his composing career? His presentation was very interactive (playing various segments to us with the sheet music on screen). This showed how successfully Zelenka mastered this genre in ZWV 19 & 20, where the attractive Ritornellos push the music forward, and leading to energetic 'Final Crescendo's. In ZWV 19, Horn pointed out the juxtaposition of this form against the 'a.' Choir "block" form, with great effect. He also pointed out in ZWV 20 how the 'laudamus te, benedicimus te (etc.)' refrain is interwoven. Which, I pointed out and has been pointed out in this forum, is also seen in Missa Fidei ZWV6 (1725). All this analysis strongly reinforced the genius of Zelenka's work in the Late Masses.

    Andrew Frampton's talk on ZWV 4, as djdresden says, was impressive and thorough. It was so detailed that I can't really do it justice here. Thankfully, his critical edition and study of the Mass is online to look at (1st document is the edition, the 2nd document is the study) - they formed his Master's thesis. In his talk which Stockigt read out, the comment which sticks most in my mind is that Zelenka's additions, revision and insertions to the Mass show his care and pride for his manuscript.
    Frampton also has worked on, and is currently working on, a study of Agricola, a composer who he identifies as the copyist of the Tenbury Missa Paschalis manuscript. Here is his 2016 article on how he did the identification, which is in Understanding Bach, volume 11.
    Wolfgang Horn commented afterwards how the presentation, which was full of images, shows how valuable the digitisation process has been in granting access to so much of Zelenka's music (and that of innumerable other composers). I can fully testify to that! Frampton did, of course, do a lot of personal hands-on research.

    Now, Michael Maul's talk and Clemens Harasim's were in German (they both are based in Leipzig), and sadly were only translated live to Czech (which I could only make out odd meanings here and there). So, thank-you to Djdresden for the summary! Maul put up the document on the screen to view, and Zelenka's signature with the red-wax seal is something quite special, and I can't wait for it to be accessible - a crop of it should certainly go up on jdzelenka.net.
    Harasim's talk was, like Horn's, very audio-friendly with clips from Magnificat settings from C.P.E Bach, J.S. Bach and Telemann (and of course Zelenka's). I think (if I understood correctly) that he was suggesting that there was some special symbolic significance to the use of trumpets in Magnificats. One of the key examples was the return back to the dominant key ( D maj ) in the "Fecit Potentiam"s ("He has showed strength"). And, the use of extroverted Amen fugues. I can't be too sure if this was explicitly said, but: In the Leipzig lutheran sacred music tradition, the Magnificat was perceived as an ideal style, which integrated a large range of compositional techniques. That Zelenka also does this shows some interchange or awareness of this (perhaps).

    Janice Stockigt's first paper was very wide-ranging and detailed, and it condenses the immense article that is published in Clavibus Unitis - those interested in the most up to date information on Zelenka's life, his Court colleagues and the Royal family really should give it a read (scroll above). The second paper, read by Michaela Freemanová, raises interesting questions about how and to what extent the French and Italian styles mixed in the Dresden Orchestra. I found most illuminating the evidence in parts for Basso Continuo showing that Zelenka must have fully mastered the French playing style as well as Italian. Also, the influence from the Viennese Imperial Court orchestra with its blend of Italian, French and German was emphasised. Stockigt argued that all this blending required strong leadership. In Vienna, this was Johann Joseph Fux. In Dresden, there are a number of figures, but Zelenka's role shouldn't be counted out by any means.

    It was amazing to hear the results of her scholarship and Ágústsson's live after reading so much of it at home. As djdresden says above, her interaction throughout the week was inspiring to say the least, and I hope she doesn't mind me saying how welcoming, engaging and encouraging she was. And, so was he, very much so! A truly formidable duo. The company of all these academics and enthusiasts was very warm indeed. I find it fitting and somewhat symbolic that this multi-national blend of people, meeting in the beautiful historical City of Prague, reflects the nature of the 18thC Dresden music scene itself - a fruitful era of skill and creativity that draws so much love and admiration to this day.
    Last edited by Xanaseb; 26-11-2016 at 10:10 PM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Oxford, United Kingdom
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to say thanks for your very kind comments on my paper at the Zelenka Festival in Prague. I was very sorry indeed not to be able to make it, but it's been great to read such detailed accounts of the proceedings. Many thanks to Janice Stockigt for reading the paper out on my behalf. I'm looking forward to attending future events, though, and hopefully meeting some of you. It's fantastic to be part of such a passionate and friendly global community of Zelenka scholars, performers and fans. In the meantime, hello from Oxford! *waves*

    Andrew Frampton

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Iceland
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

    Two new Zelenka articles are found in the next issue of Clavibus Unitis:
    http://www.acecs.cz/cu_2016_05.php

    This includes Anselm Harasim’s fine study about the Magnificats ZWV 107+108. This was the paper he gave in the Zelenka conference last October as reported above. I am hoping that more papers from the conference will be added to this issue soon, especially Michael Maul’s report on the important document he uncovered in Pirna.

    My co-written article with Jan Stockigt on the Te Deum performance in Bautzen in May 1733 is also included. This has been forever in the works so it is a big relief to have it out of the way. Some of the information is already in our big Zelenka article from last year, but here is the full story. It was such a great pleasure to work on this article and to walk in the footsteps of Zelenka in the St Petri Dom, and also to see the house where he stayed with the butchers wife. Enjoy!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    london, uk
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

    Quote Originally Posted by djdresden View Post
    Two new Zelenka articles are found in the next issue of Clavibus Unitis:
    http://www.acecs.cz/cu_2016_05.php

    This includes Anselm Harasim’s fine study about the Magnificats ZWV 107+108. This was the paper he gave in the Zelenka conference last October as reported above. I am hoping that more papers from the conference will be added to this issue soon, especially Michael Maul’s report on the important document he uncovered in Pirna.

    My co-written article with Jan Stockigt on the Te Deum performance in Bautzen in May 1733 is also included. This has been forever in the works so it is a big relief to have it out of the way. Some of the information is already in our big Zelenka article from last year, but here is the full story. It was such a great pleasure to work on this article and to walk in the footsteps of Zelenka in the St Petri Dom, and also to see the house where he stayed with the butchers wife. Enjoy!
    Thanks very much for posting these. Really interesting reading.

    On reading the Te Deum article, it reminded me about something I had been meaning to post on this forum for a while; the interpretation or best practice on allocating flute parts from Zelenka's scores. The Te Deum is an example of a score where flutes only appear in a couple of movements in the score, but in some Dresden works you will find that although flutes don't appear in the score there will be parts for them where they double the oboes in Tutti sections of the music. An big example of this is the score and parts for Hasse's Cleofide (although the parts in existence might not be the original first performance performing parts, I'm not sure). JS Bach's Dresden Mass is another example where the parts show the flutes doubling in movements other than those indicated in the score. But that doesn't always appear to be the case. There are also other examples, where the original flute parts only have the movements indicated in the score.

    When I have been asked to transcribe a work for performance, I get round this issue by adding the Tutti movements into the flute parts (particularly where the ritornello of an aria is simply marked in the score as Tutti) but marking them as only an option for performance as this is not indicated in the score. But I like to set out the options for a director to make an informed choice. Likewise, I have in the past supplied idiomatic oboe parts which I have extracted from a violin line where the director is likely to have oboe players who don't want to just be given the violin line as written in the score (though usually baroque oboists can work out their part themselves from a violin line quite competently). Heinichen is another example where it would be fine to add the flutes to the Tutti lines in movements of a concerto where the score doesn't indicate their presence per se.

    I have not carried out any formal research myself, so I don't claim to be an expert. But I was curious to know what research there might be out there to read or what other's opinions are on this from their experience of the Dresden archive. Perhaps the answer is that it's inconclusive as enough evidence for either way is not there? I don't know.

    Apologies, this was quite long winded in the end. Maybe it needs a new thread if it turns out to be a big topic.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •