View Full Version : Zelenka's Miserere ZWV 57

Andrew Hinds
06-12-2006, 03:33 PM
It is splendid to be able to compare several versions of the same great work. My favourite is on Capriccio 10557. Hermann Max has produced a performance where the pace, grandeur and majesty of the music seem perfect.
The first bonus on this CD is the opportunity to hear two of Zelenka's Dresden fellow-composers, Heinichen and Hasse.
The greatest bonus for me is to hear the splendid Cantata (tracks 21 -25) by G A Homilius (1714 - 1785), sometimes described as J S Bach's last pupil. He has written some splendid keyboard music, some of which is superficially so like J S Bach's that it has ended up with BWV numbers. He also spent most of his working life in a Protestant Church in Dresden where 200 of his Cantatas are currently being brought back to life. It is a major rediscovery.
Homilius's music is full of charm and little subtleties of many kinds. It shows a direction just a little away from his teacher but just listen to the harmony of the final chorale on Capriccio 10557. I want the new Carus label CD's of the Homilius Cantatas as they come out! The first is full of delights.
In a book on J.S. Bach, I read that Homilius is said to have preferred the music of Zelenka to that of Hasse - a good judge too.

13-12-2006, 08:07 AM
There will be another recording of ZWV 57 in the spring, in England, involving Fiori Musicali on the Metronome label.

Andrew Hinds
26-06-2012, 10:49 PM
David Nelson's splendid Survey of Zelenka CD's (that I have discussed with him during several enjoyable meetings in Sussex) is favourable towards but does not put top Hermann Max's version (Capriccio 10557). I have listened again today to it and that wonderful first movement has a perfect rhythm, pace and intensity. Not only that but it is coupled with a rare example of great music by Hasse - his Miserere also in C Minor. There is also a Heinichen Magnificat plus a recording from 10 years earlier of a very fine Advent Cantata by another favourite of mine, G A Homilius. The Homilius work includes mainly different instrumentalists among whom is Alfredo Bernadini whose oboe playing features strongly in a long tenor aria (track 23).

Alfredo Bernardini is the oboist in Ensemble Zefiro's version of Zelenka's Trio Sonatas that I rate above the other versions (unlike David Nelson). Alfredo Bernardini is also a very strong advocate for the music of Giovanni Benedetto Platti (1697 -1763). He is soloist in Platti's Oboe Concerto on Caromitis CM 0052006. This Platti "Antologia" contains four concertos, a Trio Sonata written by someone familiar with Zelenka's music I suspect and a splendid six and a half minute Stabat Mater with a Russian Bass and Alfredo Bernardini again. He is also oboist in Ensemble Cordia's Chamber music CD Brilliant 94007 covering Platti's c.1725 - 1729 Trio Sonatas, very close in date to Zelenka's Trio Sonatas.

I do hope that a few more members can be persuaded to go into print and express their enthusiasms.