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Thread: Help me create an all-Zelenka concert programme

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Help me create an all-Zelenka concert programme

    My choir applied for funding for a big Zelenka project. If all goes well, in the coming years we will perform Z's masses from the scores prepared by skiaouros. (Thank you so much again!) When writing the grant application we only knew we would have notes for ZWV 2, 3 and 12; of these, 2 is truly molochean, and no. 12 will soon be performed in New Zealand (as skiaouros told me). That left us with ZWV 3, which lacks Gloria, but is fortunately scored for strings and oboes only.

    My trouble is the following: our next year's Zelenka concert should contain music exclusively by Zelenka and its duration should approach one hour. ZWV 3 will take twenty-something minutes. So the question is: what else should the concert contain?

    One option would be to fill the gap in ZWV 3 by the Gloria in ZWV 30, but the scoring is different and the piece should better be saved for a performance of the great ZWV 2.

    Another option, the one I'm leaning towards right now, is to sing a missa brevis. Fortunately, one of the masses uploaded by skiaouros is a missa brevis: ZWV 15, Missa Eucharistica. The problem is it demands a bigger ensemble, but I believe we will manage to overcome this difficulty.

    I'd appreciate any other suggestions!

    I'm off to a concert tour with my choir and Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, and probably won't be able to visit this forum for about 10 days, but please, don't let this stop you from replying to this thread :-)

    Best regards,


  2. #2


    Hi Elwro,

    Since you perfere a limitid wind ensemble (2 oboes, basoon) may I suggest Zwv 6 Missa Fidei ? The mass contains only Kyrie and Gloria. I have been a bit lazy lately, so only produced 4 movements (midi files) so far which I have sent to Skiaouros. Today I started again and finished the 5th movement. Hopefully Im finished in a week or two. Then Skiaouros need some time to add text, make mp3 of the midi's and editing scores.
    Give it a month or so and I think the score you need is ready.
    The mass is very nice. The 4 first movements are in repository.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Hi G.R.,

    Thank you for you suggestion! Indeed, it seems the ZWV 6 is ideal for my needs :-) The fourth movement is particularly charming and I'm eagerly waiting for more. After exchanging another couple of emails with Skiaouros I'll try to take a closer look at the Et Resurrexit of ZWV 3 now.

    Thank you once again,

    L. W.

  4. #4


    Hi again Elwro,

    With Zwv 3 and Zwv 6 you have a program that last for about 45-50 minutes.
    To fill up the last 10-15 minutes, I suggest a lesser work from Zelenka's late period. In repository you find two works, Zwv 29 Chrite eleison and Zwv 167 Da pacem Domine, both unrecorded and composed for small ensemble.

    I finished Zwv 6, and uploaded it for skiaouros. He already produced mp3's of the whole work. Guess you have a score from him soon.
    You liked the 4th movement. So did Zelenka I guess, because he uses fragments from 4th movement in both 6th and 9th movement.
    The last movement Zwv 6-10, I think Zelenka might have originally composed for another, earlier work.
    1) The last movements only have 12 lines per page, the rest of the mass has 14 lines. 2) Zelenka uses 5 bars on each line in last movement. The rest of the mass he use 4 bars.
    One might speculate which work this movement originates from. Perhaps Missa Spei Zwv 5 ?

    I hope you get your fundings. It would be great if his unrecorded masses were preformed and perhaps recorded as well. Capella Leopoldina was not so fortunate. Zwv 4 was ready for recording, but noone was interested to make a CD of it. So the conducter had to give up. Sad. Grrrrr.
    Cross fingers, legs and knock wood, good luck with getting those fundings. Please tell us the outcome.

    Last edited by G.Reuss; 20-01-2009 at 11:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Hi again G. R.,

    I downloaded and printed out the notes for ZWV 6. Just two initial comments.

    1. In the concluding Amen, in bar 21, there are 4 consecutive parallel fifths between soprano and alto. (Among the "smaller" notes.) I of course realise the idea is to have the sopranos sing the same motive as in bar 23, and a part of the alto voice (the second half of the bar) is there in the score, but these two already give two parallel fifths (B-E -> A-D -> G-C). So something has to be changed, and since the alto notes are in the score, I guess the soprano voice (actually, just the two B-A notes) needs to be changed in the 2nd half of the bar. (Also, I'd risk saying that if the first tenor note in this bar is "e", than the first note of the alto is probably "c"). And is the basso voice really written with such leaps? (This is especially important for me since I sing in that voice :-)) Maybe the "a" should be put an octave higher. A tenth followed by a seventh are awkward to sing. (8-notes!)

    2. In Kyrie II, I noticed a parallel octave between altos and bassi (and b.c.+vn.2) in bar 3. Just a curiosity.



  6. #6



    I just wonder if Im more blind than deaf, or the other way around.
    I saw the mistake at once when you mentioned it. And I agree it sounds "interesting".
    The mistake is in the alto.

    Bar 21 ----------->Alto play 8 1/8 notes : a-g-f-e-d-c-b-d
    Now there are 6th's instead of 5th's between soprano and alto. And if you examine the score, what is left of this bar, the 4 last notes are probably d-c-b-d.

    Bar 21------------>Basso: yeah, I agree I was in doubt when I wrote it. But there is a "dot" indicating an "a" . But I think this is just another water damage "thing".
    So I think basso sing this notes; 1/8 'a' 1/8 'b' 1/4 'c' 1/2 'g'
    I made a new midi file. I send it to Skiaouros. Sounds far better now.

    Ok. Elwro, Skiaouros and me know what we are talking about, but I guess some others might read this and perhaps want to understand why and what we are discussing.

    Zwv 6 Missa Fidei score is somewhat waterdamaged, especially last movement. So I had to reconstruct destroyed or partly destroyed bars; I find it more difficult to complete a fugue than other movements.
    Especially bar 15 was difficult. I looked at it for 3 days before I understood what to do.

    Well thats all for now.

    Thank you for pointing it out for me L.W.

    Last edited by G.Reuss; 21-01-2009 at 06:04 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Alright, I spent a few hours with the score of ZWV 6 today. Will have quite a lot of stuff to write about, but now let's just concentrate on the Amen.

    "Especially bar 15 was difficult. I looked at it for 3 days before I understood what to do."
    I'm awfully sorry to criticize the result of your hard work, but one thing that struck me when reading bar 15 was that it was a bit un-vocal in the tenor voice. (But only a bit, and all composers of vocal music have written something un-vocal.) (edit: when editing this post some time after writing it, and having thought through the harmonics, I must say the tenor voice does not seem particularly unvocal to me now. The problem of the bar not sounding too well in my ears persists, however.) And frankly, for me it doesn't sound too well, perhaps due to three lower voices concentrating on g-a notes in the first three beats. What was your reason for writing "g" on the third beat in the basso voice (and not "e")? (From the size of the note I gather that the score was illegible there.)

    So, not having the manuscript to consult, I could let my imagination run free :-) I noticed you hadn't used the fact that the b.c. dictated #4 in the first beat of bar 15. In the first version I changed only the tenor (but let it have the "e", albeit a tad earlier) and put "e" instead of "g" in the basso (bar 15 is the third bar in my examples):

    But then I thought that the "a" in the tenor voice was perhaps clearly written in the score, since you used the "normal size" font there. So perhaps other voices could be changed, and if so, the sopranos and altos could be changed as early as the last beat of bar 14 (the "smaller size" font begins there). Here are 2 versions (I have some others in mind, but these 2 present the most important choice to be made: where to put the "c sharp" and "e").

    The second proposal (sopranos get the "c sharp"; I had to avoid downward movement of all four voices when going from bar 14 to 15):

    The third proposal (altos get the "c sharp"):

    I prepared a (lousy) MP3 file for you to aurally check out my proposals. It's here:

    It has about 30 seconds and consists of my 3 proposals, in the order displayed above. I think I'm partial to the 3rd one for a few reasons, but of course unfortunately it may have nothing to do with what's really in the score - please tell me your opinion!

    ================================================== ====

    Other things regarding the Amen:

    1. Bar 14 has "6 4" in the b.c., which would dictate d-minor, but there's clearly a-minor there.

    2. Bar 35 has a parallel octave between basso and tenor (in the smaller size notes). One of many possible solutions: change the two last quarter notes in the tenor voice to four 8-notes "d e f d". (It would make for some motivic connection with what's going on around.) But there's another thing - are you sure the basso should have "e", not "c", in the first beat of bar 36?

    3. In bar 51, the third note of the tenor voice should be "g", not "f".

    4. In bar 53, there is a soprano-tenor parallel fifth. In my opinion the third note of the tenor voice should be "d", not "e", and everything becomes fine.

    5. In bar 61: how about removing the natural sign in the b.c. and the basso? Is it in the score?

    The music is fantastic, thanks gain for your hard work! In the coming days I'll post my comments regarding the other movements.

    Best regards,

    Leszek Wronski.
    Last edited by Elwro; 22-01-2009 at 11:40 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Alright, following Skiaouros' practice I have opened a new thread for discussing the ZWV 6:

    Please, let us continue the discussion there. I'll try to post more tonight (late in the night).

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