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Thread: Te Deum ZWV 146 (not 145)

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Salzburg, Austria

    Default Re: Te Deum ZWV 146 (not 145)

    The list of works mentions for ZWV 146;

    SAATB, soli & ch.I; SATB, ch.II; 4Tpt.; Timp.; 2Fl.; 2Ob.;*2Bn.; 2Vn.;*Va.; B.c.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Sydney, NSW, Australia

    Default Re: Te Deum ZWV 146 (not 145)


    Sorry not to reply before this, but I did not return to the forum since posting that link.

    I think the answer is that the norm in eighteenth-century Germany was that choirs tended to be very small. This raises the whole controversy over Joshua Rifkin's theory (with which I agree) that Bach's choir (and by extension those of his contemporaries) usually consisted of just the soloists - perhaps with one or two extra voices per part being added very occasionally. This makes sense if you consider how very clearly soloistic the German cantatas of even the generation just before him are, even in their choruses (Buxtehude for example).
    I am not sure, but I think Zelenka wrote this work for two choirs, one of which had the weight of the solo work placed on it and the other one sometimes used to double the first choir and sometimes used to sing its own independent choral "part". If so, it would seem that he envisaged (or perhaps was directed to write for) two choirs consisting of single voices only for each part.
    There are members of this forum who will be able to answer this question with much greater knowledge and authority than me.

    I have always wondered how large Zelenka's choir in Dresden was for his Masses especially, since he retired (or died?) before the huge Frauenkirch was completed and, as I understand it, the Court's Catholic church in Dresden until then was quite small. Perhaps we should start considering Zelenka Mass performances with only the soloists singing the choruses or maybe with the soloists and only one extra singer on each part.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    York + Bournemouth UK

    Default Re: Te Deum ZWV 146 (not 145)

    Another somewhat related question I'd like to put forward is if Zelenka ever wrote a polyphonic choral piece for more than 4 parts (I suppose this Te Deum sort of counts?).
    As far as I know, he did not (his mastery of 4 parts was dazzling enough, I'd posit!). There may be practical reasons as to why this was the case, perhaps.

    I've always liked the way that the recordings of Zelenka's music over the past couple of decades have been made. In the majority of cases, they don't exaggerate the number of singers per part, unlike many other baroque recordings of the past few decades.



    ****08/09/2015 EDIT: I have since found the answer to my question - Zelenka composed a *7-part*(SAATTBB!) choral fugue for the 'Qui tollis' of his most early mass, Missa Sanctae Ceciliae (zwv 1). It was used again in Attendite et videte (zwv 59) for the 'Dignus es, Domine'.
    Hear it here: , and on the 'Sepulcro' Music of 18th Prague CD recording - wonderful ********
    Last edited by Xanaseb; 09-04-2015 at 12:59 AM. Reason: question answered!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Te Deum ZWV 146 (not 145)

    From Jan Stockigt's report of her paper on the 1733 Bautzen Te Deum, see the relevent thread and of course, above:

    "Despite Zelenka’s statement ‘ 2 Chori’ this is not a usual polychoral work. Chorus I comprises SSATB vocal soloists (two solo sopranos and an alto are required only in one movement which is set as a vocal trio for SSA) while Chorus II consisted of ripienists."

    We know exactly how many singers sang the Te Deum in 1733, their names etc. The five soloists sang Chorus I, and the four ripienists Chorus II. That was the size of Zelenka's vocal ensemble, one voice per part. Also, we can now almost certainly state who the singers were for the first performance in 1731.

    Our full article on the 1733 Bautzen Te Deum will not appear in UK Bach Network as planned. Instead, we are submitting it to another journal. I'll keep you posted.

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