Zelenka and Martinu - parallel composers.

What am I talking about? Zelenka was a baroque composer of the 18th century and Martinu was a post-Romantic composer of the twentieth century. So where is the parallel between them?

- Both were "Czechs" more or less (Bohemia/Moravia).

- Both "studied" in Prague.

- Each spent a great many years away from his homeland.

- Each has been labelled "different", i.e. not quite normal from a social point of view. (I'll return to this).

- Neither of them composed music that was especially "easy on the ear". Some degree of work (= time?) is necessary in order to appreciate what they composed. In a nutshell, in both cases it is intellectually challenging.

- Each appears to have been capable of incredibly speedy composition (or at least getting it down on paper). We know that Martinu had compositions virtually ready in his head, but we don't know too much in that respect about Zelenka, except that some compositions (e.g. ZWV 46 and 47) went very quickly.

- Each composed successful music for the "stage".

- Each was quite prolific.

Of course, Zelenka had a strong religious slant to his music (perhaps mainly because of his employment circumstances, meaning that any instrumental music that he might have produced in later years did/could not come about).

What I referred to above regarding Martinu's personality is that he is judged by a medical doctor who knew him (and whose parents knew him) to have had Asperger's syndrome. Such people have difficulties in relationships with others, for example in empathising. It would be entirely wrong to make any extrapolations to Zelenka in this respect, but who knows?