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Thread: Outstanding recordings of the orchestral music (ZWV 182 to ZWV 190)

  1. #1
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    Default Outstanding recordings of the orchestral music (ZWV 182 to ZWV 190)

    The fact that there are few orchestral music recordings in the "Outstanding" part of the Discover Zelenka website is a shame. One of our members has even questioned the recommendation of the Sonnentheil 3-CD set. What do the forum members say about the quality of performance in this set? Would you sing the praises of any other recordings?

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    Default Re: Outstanding recordings of the orchestral music (ZWV 182 to ZWV 190)

    I'd welcome a new complete recording of the orchestral works. Of the two existing recordings Camerata Bern has its charm for historical reasons but I don't revisit that often. Sonnentheil and DNEO, well that's a love/hate relationship, sometimes the music is truly elegant and inspiring in the slow parts, while at other times I feel like giving them a hard kick up the backside.

    Having heard the Freiburger Barockorchester play some of these works live in the past few years I think they are the ideal group of virtuosos for this repertoire. They surely love playing Zelenka's music, he's an ever present composer in their concerts and the broadcast of their Missa Dei Filii last December presents the outstanding version of that work so far in my opinion. There is more to look forward to from the Freiburgers next year, when they will perform the oratorio I penitenti ZWV 63 during Easter.

    Their majestic Zelenka/Pisendel CD is always one of my favorite recordings of the Dresden baroque. But I also like Dombrecht and Il Fondamento's Prague 1723 CD, which is full of spirit and expression.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Outstanding recordings of the orchestral music (ZWV 182 to ZWV 190)

    I agree about the Sonnentheil and DNEO recording. Sometimes its playing is infectiously lively, but too often there is a hint of sluggishness and opportunities for interesting details of phrasing and shaping are missed.

    It is hard to better the Dombrecht / Il Fondamento recording. The Freiburgers' version of ZWV 188 on EMI is my favourite version of that piece however.

    I have to disagree about the Missa Dei Filii concert by the Freiburgers, mainly on account of their soprano (a little bit heavy and a little too - even if not wholly - operatic in the 19th century sense). The performance as a whole was splendid, however. Such energy and agility! It was marred by a lot of peaking through the microphones when I listened on-line (or is that just my system doing that?).
    Osbert

  4. #4

    Default Re: Outstanding recordings of the orchestral music (ZWV 182 to ZWV 190)

    How lovely to find this thread. We (Bach Sinfonia -- Washington, DC USA) are presenting the 5 Capriccios in concert this weekend and will record a disc for Sono Luminus/Dorian early next week. They plan to release the disc sometime in the fall.

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    Thumbs up Re: Outstanding recordings of the orchestral music (ZWV 182 to ZWV 190)

    Great news! From the Zelenka Forum's current thread discussing JDZ's orchestral works, you must have realized that Bach Sinfonia's new CD of ALL five Capriccios (ZWV 182-5 + 190) is eagerly awaited. Certainly this will be an event of historical importance, for at least three reasons:

    1) Despite the European Zelenka revival in recent years - as far as I know - (practically) nothing has been published from the USA since Newell Jenkins & his Clarion Concerts Orchestra released their super-early LP with ZWV 184 & 189 in 1966 (!). See "Rare Recordings" section above.

    2) Bach Sinfonia's homepage points out that "(...) performances will be based on a new critical edition by Daniel Abraham". JDZ's autographs are often difficult to decipher due to both the handwriting and war damages. Therefore few attempts of performing editions (and thus performances) are made, and even in those few editions there are often many mistakes. So your critical performing edition is most welcome!

    3) Your dedication to historically inspired performances and period instruments is - literally speaking - music in the ears of all fans longing for a contemporary early music approach to these challenging pieces. And although the HIP approach is quite achknowledged by know, one sometimes has the impression that the use of natural horns isn't equally established (actually, the inclusion of the original brass components in general). Your practical/ material approach will thus be most welcome, too! Good luck!!

    PS: While focusing on the five capriccio's essential place in Jan Dismas Zelenka's repertoire for natural horns, you have probably discovered to what extent he also added interesting horn parts to his vocal compositions (Masses etc.).
    But as this thread deals with "purely" orchestral works, the opening sinfonia of "Il Diamante" (ZWV 177) cannot go unmentioned, even if it wasn't included in any of the two so-called complete recordings mentioned above. For me, of all baroque horn music ever heard by ANY composer, this musicologically controversial
    piece takes first place. Highly original and yet immediately recognizeable and appealing, like some horn parallell to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Just listen to Ensemble Inegal's paradigmatic premiere recording from 2009 on Youtube: http://youtu.be/JhVwwgJgNnQ
    .. As mentioned: an immensely challenging yet rewarding composition that doesn't resemble anything else. And maybe a hit among US audiences in future Bach Sinfonia performances?
    SVF

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    Default Re: Zelenka Capriccios

    Colleagues may have noticed, and been excited, that The Bach Sinfonia's new recording of the Capriccios 1-5 had been announced for release in October and then for the beginning of this month. However the publicity has been confused, sometimes referring to 2 CDs, sometimes to a Blu-ray disc.

    The distributors in the UK, Select, now confirm that the package comprises one CD [which I expected] plus one Blu-ray disc, but also that release has been delayed, probably until February, because the Blu-ray pressing was faulty. They did not respond to my plea for a CD copy only in the meantime!

    The label is Dorian /Sono Luminus with the number DSL 92163.

    Whether or not any of us responded to the invitation to submit ideas for the album cover, the artwork is in fact strikingly effective - a wine coloured background simply stating
    ZELENKA: The Capriccios
    in a dignified font. Anticipation mounts!

    David N

  7. #7
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    Smile Re: Zelenka Capriccios

    [QUOTE=davidN;1302]Colleagues may have noticed, and been excited, that The Bach Sinfonia's new recording of the Capriccios 1-5 had been announced for release in October and then for the beginning of this month. However the publicity has been confused, sometimes referring to 2 CDs, sometimes to a Blu-ray disc.

    The distributors in the UK, Select, now confirm that the package comprises one CD [which I expected] plus one Blu-ray disc, but also that release has been delayed, probably until February, because the Blu-ray pressing was faulty. They did not respond to my plea for a CD copy only in the meantime!

    The label is Dorian /Sono Luminus with the number DSL 92163.

    UPDATE - MY COPY ARRIVED YESTERDAY [2nd JANUARY] FROM A UK DEALER, SO I IMAGINE THAT IT IS NOW WIDELY AVAILABLE.

    I have not yet listened in detail but note that the horn players do not use hand stopping, maintaining that this did not come in until after 1725, and rely solely on embouchure and crooks. Fascinating!

    David N

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Zelenka Capriccios

    Following Bach Sinfonia's interesting release of the Capriccio's I would like to share a live recording of the Freiburger Barockorchester performing Capriccio Nr. 3, ZWV 184. This is from a radio broadcast of a concert in Freiburg 17 February 2010 – a few days later I heard the group play the same program live in Berlin. It was simply amazing. Teunis van der Zwart played the first horn and demonstrated his breathtaking and unrivalled virtuosity.

    The Capriccio can be downloaded here – zip file, MP3, 320kb, great sound:

    https://rapidshare.com/files/2158014643/ZelenkaFBO.zip

    I wish all Zelenka fans out there a happy New Year!

    Johannes

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