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Thread: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera


  2. #12
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    Quote Originally Posted by rnkt View Post
    Really positive reviews, great! They give me hope about bringing more Zelenka to the people. The Bachtrack one in particular is gleaming and was such a pleasure to read . Andrew Benson Wilson looked at the performance more critically, which is always a good thing, as it described the event very vividly.
    ...though I was pretty infuriated to read this, something which I've spotted other people state all too often:

    "...and then, having been very briefly given the title of ‘church composer’ was then usurped in that post by JS Bach,"

    I have just posted a comment to correct the error, and it's awaiting moderation. I did the same to this post advertising the Bury Court recently.. amazingly, it was the same factual error! Robert Hugill replied to my comment, and what he said reveals a sad truth indeed:

    "Thanks for the corrections, with such vagueness about him and so many inaccuracies it is difficult to get a correct picture of him"

    ...'inaccuracies' which were started a long while back, and keep on getting revived. The origin of it, whether subconscious or not, must be to do with a Bach-superiority complex - ie.) feeling the necessity to assert Bach's well-established recognition, or to Romantically (!?) show up the lack of Zelenka's. Of course, this confounding phenomenon is not restricted to the Zelenkasphere or to Bach, or even to the Late Baroque era. Music is not a football match folks!

    Sebastian
    Last edited by Xanaseb; 23-10-2015 at 11:57 AM.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanaseb View Post
    Really positive reviews, great! They give me hope about bringing more Zelenka to the people. The Bachtrack one in particular is gleaming and was such a pleasure to read . Andrew Benson Wilson looked at the performance more critically, which is always a good thing, as it described the event very vividly.
    ...though I was pretty infuriated to read this, something which I've spotted other people state all too often:

    "...and then, having been very briefly given the title of ‘church composer’ was then usurped in that post by JS Bach,"

    I have just posted a comment to correct the error, and it's awaiting moderation. I did the same to this post advertising the Bury Court recently.. amazingly, it was the same factual error! Robert Hugill replied to my comment, and what he said reveals a sad truth indeed:

    "Thanks for the corrections, with such vagueness about him and so many inaccuracies it is difficult to get a correct picture of him"

    ...'inaccuracies' which were started a long while back, and keep on getting revived. The origin of it, whether subconscious or not, must be to do with a Bach-superiority complex - ie.) feeling the necessity to assert Bach's well-established recognition, or to Romantically (!?) show up the lack of Zelenka's. Of course, this confounding phenomenon is not restricted to the Zelenkasphere or to Bach, or even to the Late Baroque era. Music is not a football match folks!

    Sebastian
    Yes, I noticed that bit about Bach in the review too. I think part of the problem is that it is naturally assumed that only one person could have a post of 'Church composer' when actually it isn't that simple. The first glowing review takes a lot of information from the programme notes.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    Quote Originally Posted by Rik1 View Post
    Yes, I noticed that bit about Bach in the review too. I think part of the problem is that it is naturally assumed that only one person could have a post of 'Church composer' when actually it isn't that simple. The first glowing review takes a lot of information from the programme notes.
    Ah, yes!! It could even be that simple too
    I sort of went off on one

    Sebastian

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanaseb View Post
    Ah, yes!! It could even be that simple too
    I sort of went off on one

    Sebastian
    Also turns out I was incorrect regarding Ristori - he didn't share that same title with Zelenka, Butz and Bach. Also, Bach's title was honorary in 1736 and officially listed in 1738. I had to embarrassingly update my comments to those reviews/posts..
    It is definitely not that simple indeed.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    Dear Xanaseb,

    I admire your great enthusiasm, and especially going to the lengths of trying to correct the critic in question. In order to convince him we can always send the details of the OFFICIAL documents of the Hof-und Staats-Calender, as annually published by the Dresden court from 1735-1746, to prove a) that Zelenka enjoyed the prestigious title of Church Composer until his death and b) that Bach’s position was only „tit[ular]” = honorary. If that is not enough, then the death notice in the court’s OFFICIAL documents, of "Johann Dismas Zelenka, the Royal Court Composer” as it was reported on 23 December 1745, should be sufficient. But, I think you have made your point. Also, I’ve updated the Wikipedia entry, which obviously was the source of the claims about Bach vs Zelenka „the battle of 15 rounds” – you might want to inform him of this!

    I am very very pleased to read the positive reviews of the music itself – this is the most important thing. Knowing what lengths the musicians sometime go to perform the music they wish, as in this case, having followed (through Xanaseb) the director’s sometimes difficult attempts to acquire the music in question, I am always in awe of them.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    Quote Originally Posted by djdresden View Post
    Dear Xanaseb,

    I admire your great enthusiasm, and especially going to the lengths of trying to correct the critic in question. In order to convince him we can always send the details of the OFFICIAL documents of the Hof-und Staats-Calender, as annually published by the Dresden court from 1735-1746, to prove a) that Zelenka enjoyed the prestigious title of Church Composer until his death and b) that Bach’s position was only „tit[ular]” = honorary. If that is not enough, then the death notice in the court’s OFFICIAL documents, of "Johann Dismas Zelenka, the Royal Court Composer” as it was reported on 23 December 1745, should be sufficient. But, I think you have made your point. Also, I’ve updated the Wikipedia entry, which obviously was the source of the claims about Bach vs Zelenka „the battle of 15 rounds” – you might want to inform him of this!

    I am very very pleased to read the positive reviews of the music itself – this is the most important thing. Knowing what lengths the musicians sometime go to perform the music they wish, as in this case, having followed (through Xanaseb) the director’s sometimes difficult attempts to acquire the music in question, I am always in awe of them.
    I wrote another comment with the info on the Wiki page and a mini review of the 1st Nov concert . They are still awaiting approval/moderation, but I'm sure he'll see it. My bombardment might give a funny impression. I'm in danger of coming across as a ...Zealous Zelenkan... who am I kidding?

    I talked with the conductor, Julian Perkins, after the event last night. He said that he did in fact end up hiring the full score for ZWV20 Missa Dei Filii from that ridiculously priced company. They originally quoted £960 for just hiring it. Julian, tongue in cheek, replied saying: 'Don't you mean £96...?'. They said that there must be some confusion, but he managed to heckle a lower rate from there! (he didn't say how much the final price was) Now that's desperation. He asked (pleaded) that someone gets on the case for the future, and produce a more available score for ZWV20.
    Last edited by Xanaseb; 02-11-2015 at 12:55 PM.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanaseb View Post
    I wrote another comment with the info on the Wiki page and a mini review of the 1st Nov concert . They are still awaiting approval/moderation, but I'm sure he'll see it. My bombardment might give a funny impression. I'm in danger of coming across as a ...Zealous Zelenkan... who am I kidding?

    I talked with the conductor, Julian Perkins, after the event last night. He said that he did in fact end up hiring the full score for ZWV20 Missa Dei Filii from that ridiculously priced company. They originally quoted £960 for just hiring it. Julian, tongue in cheek, replied saying: 'Don't you mean £96...?'. They said that there must be some confusion, but he managed to heckle a lower rate from there! (he didn't say how much the final price was) Now that's desperation. He asked (pleaded) that someone gets on the case for the future, and produce a more available score for ZWV20.
    That price is completely shocking! It effectively keeps this music under lock and key, rarely to be performed. Most groups just would not contemplate hiring at those prices. However, the publisher would argue that for the money you are getting music that does not require interpretation or any other 'work' as they have done that bit for you. I would agree with this, if it weren't for the fact that the price is still outrageously high, and the fact that all musicians who play early instruments can generally interpret this music themselves without that much instruction from a publisher. For other musicians, many directors acquire good knowledge of performance practice anyway.

    Did you enjoy last nights performance?

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    If my memory does not fail me, performing materials for ZWV 20 changed hands in Britain maybe 8 years ago, when there was to be a performance in Edinburgh or Glasgow and there had previously been one by another group in England. The details may even be somewhere on this forum or among my old e-mails (I'm not in a position to search right now).

    The bottom line is that there should actually be a register or registry of performing materials that are available so that costs and frustration and minimised in the future. We just need someone who would be dedicated enough to organise this!

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    My concert report:
    Last night's concert (1st Nov at Bury Court) was a great experience. I travelled there with my brother, walking from the railway station through a few miles of deep fog-laden English autumnal countryside. The setting was magical and out of the way. The Barn venue was well-designed and had a warm, stylish atmosphere.

    I would like to make special mention of Julian Perkins - he was simply on fire. His conducting style reminded me so much of Vaclav Luks and his charismatic performances. I loved how he urged the Theorbist in the Cum Sancto Spiritu fugue to strum furiously during the final climaxes. He directed the superhuman choir ascents and descents as if conjuring a ladder to heaven.

    His interpretation of Missa Dei Filii was unusual to my ears, more punchy than the Frieder Bernius' recording that we are all so used to hearing. As Andrew mentioned, he really got the tempi going fast, and to great effect (especially in the Qui Sedes and brief "szene" choral sections)! I can't say the same for the Il Serpente choruses however, where the tempo and ferocity was a lot lower than Adam Viktora & Ensemble Inégal, reducing the impact somewhat - part of that may have been to enable the choir to have more room to sing all that crammed in Italian. Another slight disappointment was that they reduced the Qui tollis peccata mundi aria to just the Soprano, cutting out the Bass & Tenor duet. It still worked as a whole however. Experiencing the Mass live is quite another thing from hearing it at home. My heart was thumping faster and faster the further into the finale, and I was totally taken by the way Zelenka constantly cranks up the pressure. Breathtaking stuff.

    Augusta Hebbert was indeed stunning. She made the virtuoso Il Diamante aria sound like a breeze, and enticed the audience with her expression and luscious tone. She had quite an aura about her. Magid El-Bushra, the male Alto was also very engaging in the Il Serpente (he did the two Azaria arias). The emotions for those extracts were squeezed out very well in this interpretation.

    To repeat other people's comments, the placement of the Trio Sonata in the middle to break up the programme worked brilliantly (an inspiration for future Zelenka programmes?). It was very intimate and entrancing. Like in London, there was another spontaneous applause for the bassoonist! The poor oboist briefly stumbled in one of the tougher parts of the last movement, getting a few sympathetic smiles from the audience.

    The performance across the board was super. The lead violinist kept everything together very well throughout the night, and the violins kept great cohesion during the long tempestuous sections (ie. Terra's aria). Watching the contrabassist I got a vivid sense of Zelenka's high-quality bass lines and the tangible energy/passion needed to perform them. In fact, the same comment could be said for every 'part' in the orchestra. Although, from my angle, the back parts of the orchestra were obscured by the front. Similarly, the view to most of the choir at the back was blocked. Though the acoustics were unharmed, and very good for a old converted barn!

    All in all, a great introduction to Zelenka for the uninitiated. The venue was packed, so a better turn out (bearing in mind though that it was a smaller venue). It left a big impression on the audience; there was much sustained feet stomping. A person behind me joyously told me afterwards: "This is the best thing I've heard in a long while!"

    Last edited by Xanaseb; 02-11-2015 at 06:23 PM.

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