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Thread: Video of Zelenka's complete "Psalmi Vespertini" -1st cycle (1725)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Video of Zelenka's complete "Psalmi Vespertini" -1st cycle (1725)

    FOR YOU: "Psalmi Vespertini totius anni"- anno 1725, Complete at last. See link "Info" for music, selected illustrations and more details:
    I realized that I would be able to compile a complete video presentation of Zelenka's intactly preserved first vesper Psalm cycle of seven compositions from september-november 1725 (Dixit Dominus (Zwv 66), Confitebor (Zwv 72), Beatus vir (Zwv 75), Laudate pueri (Zwv 82), In exitu Israel (Zwv 83), Magnificat (Zwv 108) & De profundis (Zwv 50/97)). All seven should be presented in the same order as Jan Dismas Zelenka wrote in his personal "Inventarium". (Read J. Stockigt (2000), pp. 161-174 for the relevant information).
    Probably for the first time in his life, the deeply religious Zelenka was in 1725 asked to compose a vesper Psalm set. In my opinion they reveal the energy and enthusiasm of someone who is finally able to pursue an interest for (maybe) the first time, and to really explore the musical possibilities in the timeless Psalm texts.
    The performances here may seem somewhat inhomogenous taken as a whole, but the main motivation is to attract attention to Zelenka's neglected (David) Psalm cycles, and perhaps encourage future recordings by today's very talented JDZ interpreters. An easy and musicologically reasonable solution would be to follow Zelenka's own "instructions": 4 Psalm cycles = 4 full CDs (+/- 80 min.)! Only the Magnificats (Zwv 107-8), Dixit (Zwv 68) & Laudate pueri (Zwv 81) are availabe in updated recordings, although several more got attention in old LPs from the 1970s & 1980s...

    By the way, in this LP/ vinyl category there is an important avantguarde recording by Wolfram Wehnert & The Marburger Bachchor from 1979 on the Carus label (FSM 63 108 - Stereo) that clearly qualify for the "Rare recording" section, but accidentally seems to have passed under Alastair's radar (hint, hint!)

    This Marburger "Psalmen und Magnificat" LP contains the only registration known to me of the fabuolus, elaborate Confitebor Zwv 72 (c. 16 min.).
    Zwv 72 is compositin 2 here:


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Southern Sweden

    Default Re: Video of Zelenka's complete "Psalmi Vespertini" -1st cycle (1725)

    I wondered when the omission of the "Psalmen und Magnificat" LP would come to light, as it should certainly be mentioned as a "Rare recording" on the Discover Zelenka website. I have a beautifully preserved example, so I'll set my house-trolls to work.


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

    Default Re: Video of Zelenka's complete "Psalmi Vespertini" -1st cycle (1725)

    Thank you for this wonderful video. Great idea to set it to the St. Alban's Psalter.
    That Confitebor is indeed jaw-dropping.
    For me, the 'Beatus vir' stood out in my mind. Very dramatic, atmospheric and driven by momentum towards the ethereal chromatic ascents and descents of the final amen fugue.
    They fit and flow together perfectly too! For example, the 'Laudate Pueri' recording which has a reduced number of instruments leaving the layered voice-parts practically on their own, and to great effect when contrasted with the larger orchestration of the preceding and following Psalm-settings.
    To be honest, they are all masterpieces that deserve multiple listenings.

    Last edited by Xanaseb; 19-03-2014 at 03:04 AM.

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