Evidently the volatile, utopian, experimental quality of the music – its insoluble mystery – still makes a great many performers (whether using period or modern instruments) feel insecure and frightens them off. (Heinz Holliger)
There have been over 150 CDs produced containing the music of J.D. Zelenka, many of which deserve to be heard at least once. The small selection of CDs listed on this page (further below) contains some of the best recordings in terms of artistic interpretation / performance, choice of works, and recording quality, divided into two parts:
Overall, the works represented cover a relatively wide spectrum and are generally agreed to be among the best written by Zelenka, each one being a unique Baroque musical masterpiece. Within the two-part list below, the CDs are loosely organized beginning with vocal works (motets in the general sense, followed by masses, then oratorios, then other vocal works), and ending in instrumental works.
The recordings were chosen by a handful of discerning Zelenka enthusiasts with widely different backgrounds. Some CDs narrowly missed being included, so the list should not be regarded as exclusive in any way; however, it provides a firm starting point into the Zelenka discography, for both experts and new listeners alike.