Zelenka Festival 2016 - Meet up

  • Hi good people,

    If anyone who's going to the Prague festival next week would be interested in meeting at some point, then please PM me to discuss. I already know one or two! I will be there for the whole thing (bar the Dresden concert)

    On Thursday 20th Oct, I will also be going on a trip to Zelenka's birthplace, Louňovice pod Blaníkem. You are very welcome to join - pm for details of the journey.

    All the best,

    Seb :cool:

  • Hey Msl - it was absolutely brilliant!! Sorry that nothing has been posted yet. I ask for your patience, I am bogged down in work and other duties :)
    There is a *lot* to mention and discuss. I understand now how djdresden must have felt like after last year's one!

    For now, do enjoy this gem which was piblished last week: http://www.acecs.cz/?f_idx=4
    If you click on the top poster, you will download the proceedings from last year's Zelenka Conference. Special mention for Johannes Augustsson and Jan Stockigt's immense article summarising the many updates to our understanding of Zelenka's life. It's been a long time coming. This year's conference will have the same treatment, I believe.

    All the best,


    PS. Thanks for linking that article with Viktora's interview. He mentions the Clavibus Unitis publication there!

  • Very curious to know how it was.

    I only attended the concert on Saturday evening in Prague. It was my very first Zelenka concert and a wonderful experience, not only because of the music but because I got to meet most of the main Zelenka scholars as well as several members of this forum. On my return, I made some notes which I would like to share here:

    If you are thrown the keys to a powerful sports car and pointed to a hundred miles of empty road, what would you do? Such a question was asked of Frieder Bernius, one of the greatest early revivers of Zelenka’s sacred music, when he was brought in to guest-conduct Ensemble Inégal, a band which has on regular occasion shown that they are not afraid to go supersonic. With two of Zelenka’s most expressive, energetic and inventive works on the programme Bernius marked his 2016 “Zelenka reboot” in style and challenged a largely Zelenka-familiar audience (the concert concluded the 3rd Zelenka Festival) to a truly emotionally and physically demanding hour of music.

    As “overture” we started with a characteristically dramatic reading of the Miserere (ZWV 57) with its dark pulsing strings at the opening, driven incessantly by Inégal’s extremely dynamic bass section. Considering what was coming later in the evening, the chorus then got a welcome warmup with some early 17th century polyphony, transcribed by Zelenka from Frescobaldi’s Fiori Musicali. This nod to the past was followed by the starkly modern Gloria Patris in empfindsamer stil, brightly performed by Andrea Oberparleiter. After the inevitable return to the dark material of the Miserere’s start, we moved to the evening’s main work, the Missa Dei Filii (ZWV 20). The fairly cursory Kyrie is followed by a Christe for solo soprano that is somewhat similar to the Gloria Patris that we had just heard in the Miserere. This time the honours fell to Maria Bernius, who sung crisply, though perhaps filled the church slightly less than her colleague earlier. Then, with a repeat of the Kyrie, the engine was warm and the audience eagerly anticipating what would follow, namely the overdimensional Gloria, one of Zelenka’s most brilliant and original settings - quite something for a composer who mostly only composed brilliant and original music. With the opening movement of the Gloria Bernius and his forces took us on an exhilarating white-knuckle ride, surely obliterating the 9 minute “record” set by an already energetic performance by the Wroclaw baroque orchestra and Dresden Chamber Choir under Vaclav Luks, broadcast on radio earlier in the year (by comparison the two CD recordings of ZWV 20, including Bernius’s own and a live recording of the Freiburg Barockorchester with the Collegium Vocale Gent clock in at between 9:45 and 10:00). Indeed, the pace that was set at the start drew silent gasps from the audience and one almost instinctively reached out for something to hold on to. And then, thoughts turned to the chorus, for when one knows the work, one knows what is coming!! ;) Indeed, the nervous grins exchanged between members of the chorus during the opening ritornello said it all: “he said he would take it a tad quicker on the night and he kept true to his word”. However, full credit goes to the singers of the Stuttgart Chamber Chorus – they started second but never sounded like they were just “keeping up” with Inégal – they were full partners in crime in a high octane getaway dash! At these speeds, the text becomes rather less prominent (Zelenka even messes with the order of the liturgical text in order to meet his aims and he also treats the Laudamus te section as a recurring refrain). Instead, the work is like a concerto for two orchestras, one instrumental, one vocal. Both compete for attention with an eclectic mix of leaping acclamations, dizzying syncopation, unison plainchant and, of course, those famous swooping scales. In this performance the latter could actually have been better described as rising and falling glissandi, though they rarely felt out of control despite the ample reverb of the Salvatorska church somewhat muddying the effect. The concentration and virtuosity of the choir cannot be understated – they particularly impressed with the antiphonal entries in the recapitulation of the Domine Deus during which the band tries its best to distract with a repeat of those snakey syncopations of the opening ritornello. And then all those false endings, a trademark of Zelenka, when it seems that first the chorus and then the orchestra try to delay the inevitable. I think we were all thankful for the oasis of calm that came in the form of the Qui Tollis, that wonderful soprano aria with a slinking chromatic accompaniment in which, just when you think it has run its course, up pops a bass, and then a few bars later, a tenor. They reinvent the aria as a duet and go on to really crank up the tension. The soloists and particularly tenor Tobias Mäthger put in a fine performance which reminded us of Zelenka’s apparent deep interest in the world of opera. That interest was further displayed in the almost rage-aria like Quoniam, which followed the troubling strains of the Qui sedes, with its many suspensions in the choral texture beautifully and mysteriously “hung” by the chorus over the restless accompaniment. The Quoniam was taken at top speed but was perfectly phrased by the violins and oboes to add some, almost comical, twists to the various repeated figures. The male alto, Adam Schilling did a fine job with the showy vocal lines. His voice did however seem sometimes a little overpowered by Inégal’s accompaniment.

    With the Cum Sancto Spiritu fugue, one of the most ingenious ever composed to that text, we were strapped in for a return to the turbo-charged tempo already encountered at the start of the Gloria. Full credit to the chorus who kept together throughout, though they carried off the those off-beat “oompah” Amens rather less confidently than is possible at a slower tempo. At the close, following that clever recapitulation of the Gloria theme and those glissandi-scales accompanied by a final wild blast of G major from Inégal, the lightning tour ended.
    Both Ensemble Inégal and the Stuttgart Chamber Choir gave their all in what was evidently a performance which demanded considerable mental and physical strength. Thanks go to Frieder Bernius (and of course Adam Viktora) for making this unique occasion possible. It was certainly the most energetic interpretation of 18th century music that I have experienced. I am sure many critics would argue it was at times way too fast. Certainly, one could not wallow in Zelenka’s intricate invention, because it flew past and if you blinked, you missed it. However, Bernius knew that his audience were probably mostly familiar with this work, even his own recording of it. So, he was not out to win new fans of Zelenka, but to play to (and with) those “already hooked”. The great thing with Zelenka is that his music is very robust to different interpretations - this one included. In all, this interpretation was both exhilarating and draining and if anyone ever makes a recording like that, I’ll be needing a faster car!

  • Thanks a lot for the link. I look forward reading it over the weekend.

  • Thanks a lot for the very detailed and inspiring review. I played both works this afternoon and tried to imagine how the concert would have been. Obviously that is a surrogate experience compared to yours, but nevertheless it made my afternoon.

  • Dear all,

    So, it's been three weeks now since the Zelenka Festival & Conference 2016, Prague-Dresden. I'm sorry that it has taken me this long to write-up a report for the forum. Below I just cover the concerts. My Conference-report discussing the Zelenka research will follow shortly. The spirit of the week remains with me strongly: the events, atmosphere and conversations were very special, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone thinking about coming along in the future.
    There is a lot to mention and discuss. It became apparent to me that students and scholars of Zelenka's life are still chewing over the revelations of the 2015 Conference & Festival. It really left the door wide open. So, this year's gathering presented something of a consolidation, with some new ideas and exciting discoveries. It further affirmed that our Jan Dismas was indeed a "highly praised, perfect Virtuoso" (one freshly found document quite literally does this) - ie. a truly exceptional person, both within and outside of his music.

    Wednesday 19th October
    Concert at the "Rytířský sál" (Knight's hall) at the Palace of the Grand Prior of the Knights of Malta - Adam Viktora pointed out that this was where the opening scenes of 'Amadeus' were filmed! It is a sparkling, grand place.

    "From Zelenka's Secular Vocal Collection - Musica Aeterna (Slovakian Baroque ensemble led by Peter Zajíček), Gabriela Eibenová (S) & Lenka Cafourková (S).
    Antonio Lotti 1667-1740
    Sinfonia from Allesandro Severo (1716 opera); "Bell labbro" aria from Teofano (1719 - performed at the Wedding celebrations of Maria Josepha & August III); "Quella desta" duet from Giove in Argo.

    Johann Adolf Hasse 1699-1783
    Sinfonia á 4 op.5 in G minor (allegro); "Lo sposo va á morte" aria from Cajo Farbricio (1731 opera)

    Geminiano Giacomelli 1694-1740
    "Mancare, Dio, mi sento" aria from Adriano in Siria (1733 opera)

    Nicola Porpora 1686-1768
    Sinfonia op.2 Gmaj (air); "Digli che son fedele" aria from Poro (1731 opera); "E puoi, crudel" duet from Annibale (1731 opera)

    It was a marvellous idea to have an operatic theme to the whole festival (1. Zelenka's collection & inspirations -> 2. Zelenka's Arias following this model - > 3. Zelenka's Operatic skill applied to sacred music in two late masterpieces). It came as a result of djdresden's (Jóhannes Ágústsson) research, showing Zelenka's secular vocal responsibilities in the early 1730s. In that period, he had amassed an important collection of operatic arias for regular chamber concerts. Every one of the arias were stunning works displaying a variety of emotions and of styles (all Italianate) and superbly performed by Gabriela Eibenová and Lenka Cafourková. Kudos to the concert arrangers for putting together such a complementary palette of arias, sinfonias and duets. Starting three days after Zelenka's baptismal date, it started the festival off with a great operatic bang.
    Giacomelli's aria was the gem of the night. Sung by Gabriela Eibenová, it was so entrancing that I couldn't take my eyes away. I felt as if I could listen to it for ever. It has a sustained minor key, full of diminished chords, combined with a divinely sorrowful melody which pushes all the right buttons. Lenka Cafourková shone during the rage-type arias. Her powerful (often, piercing) voice provided a counterbalance to Eibenová's warm-softer one. The duets, especially Lotti's, were most delightful. Peter Zajíček was a very entertaining and energetic violinist, and the other musicians were great too. The Sinfonias combined nicely with the vocal pieces. An amusing aside: a few of the musicians shared the surnames of 18thC Bohemian composers: Peter Zelenka - 2nd violin, Lucia Krommer - violoncello (thinking of Franz Krommer/František Kramář 1759-1831), Romana Uhlíková - violone (Augustin Uhlig 1703-1773, composer, organist&violinist at Dresden & Leipzig Royal Catholic Chapel).

    [B]Thursday 20th October[/B]
    2nd Concert at the Rytířský sál.
    On this day, I also went to Lounoviče pod Blaníkem, which was a magical experience. What struck me most was the beauty of the landscape of the surrounding area. It was typical Czech Autumn-countryside, with rolling colourful forest-laden hills, interspersed with occasional villages with small, but picturesque baroque churches. Lounoviče is small and very quiet, but it has its attractions. Zelenka is greatly celebrated. His memorial is very nicely kept, and he also has a plaque dedicated to him and his father inside of the church. The 'Zamek' (Castle/Palace) complex is intriguing. Inside, they were in the middle of preparations for the „Podblanický hudební podzim“ festival, that's been held annually since 1984, dedicated to J.D.Zelenka. I also took a hike up Vélky Blaník - a walk that Zelenka himself must have done often in his youth. There was a 19thC drawing of a Roman Catholic community going up and celebrating Mass at the top of it. I was surprised to hear from Czechs in Prague how their nationhood is dearly connected to this mountain. Sadly, I couldn't see anything from the top, because the tower was closed for the season!

    "Jan Dismas Zelenka: Alcune Arie - Causate dalle diverse Opere, poste in Musica..."
    The 8 Italian Arias, Musica Florea with Marek Štryncl, Lenka Cafourková (S), Gabriela Eibenová (S), Kamila Mazalová (A), Roman Hoza (B).

    This concert convinced me about the high quality of these Arias, more so than the recent CD. The interpretation and performance of Štryncl and Musica Florea was spot on: sharp but also fluid and full-bodied. Perfectly executed and nuanced. The ritornelli didn't grate or dull my ear as they did on the recording, instead they felt natural and what's more, very enjoyable. I loved in particular how much energy and passion they put into their playing. The ground almost shook with Štryncl's cello & the violone descents and tremors (probably not the technical terms...). After having heard samples of Zelenka's secular vocal collection the previous night, I could hear how they might have influenced his writing. In each aria he sets different techniques, to suit each individual soloist for their graduation performance (as per Johannes' theory). Gabriela Eibenová said afterwards that in the previous day's concert she could relax and not worry too much - but with these Zelenka arias it was important for her to be on the ball, all the time. These arias were designed to dazzle their audience with the sheer skill of each soloist - that, they certainly did! I came out of it very proud of Zelenka.

    Saturday 22nd October
    Concert at St Salvator's Church, Salvatorska: Ensemble Inégal and Stuttgart Kammerchor with Frieder Bernius conducting, Adam Viktora on positive organ, Maria Bernius (S), Andrea Oberparleiter (A), Adam Schilling (A), Tobias Mäthge (T), Emanuel Fluck (B)

    Miserere ZWV57
    Missa Dei Filii ZWV 20

    This was a perfect crown to finish the festival. For me, the Miserere was the highlight. It was hands-down the best performance I have ever heard. The famous Adagio was at a perfect tempo, with a careful intensity that allowed all the emotion to come through. What added to this more than anything else was a wonderful acoustic. The choir voices blended together and reverberated around the tall church interior in a particular way that's hard to describe. The tone of their singing was primordial, otherworldly. As for the Missa, Rnkt has captured it very well in his description above. I would only add that I was completely taken unawares by the mind-boggling speed at which Bernius took the musicians in the Gloria. I really had to recover from it. Thinking back to it, it was an absolute miracle that the choir managed to keep up so well. Well done. Nevertheless, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had been turned down a notch. It was a bold, risky choice, which did benefit the Cum Sancto fugue which became unrelenting, yet streamlined: the pièce de résistance. He balanced the rest of the Mass very well with this, and both Inégal & Kammerchor Stuttgart pulled out all the stops for it.

  • Friends,

    at last I had a chance to write up my report on the Zelenka Festival and Conference, which has just ended in Prague. I see that Xanaseb and rnkt have already posted their comments about the concerts, and I don’t have much to add to that at the moment.

    I was very excited about the conference, mainly because of the presence of the Bach scholar Michael Maul. Knowing the groundbreaking archival work he has done as a part of his job at the Bach-Archiv Leipzig, this promised to be something. And it was. In his paper Maul presented a stunning new Zelenka document: an unknown letter in German written (by a copyist) from our composer in November 1740, where he vouched for the musical qualities of one Christian Siegmund Nitzschner, who was applying for the cantor and organist position in Pirna, a city in Saxony close to Dresden. From this document we learn that this Nitzschner, of whom we know absolutely nothing until know, was a fine musician and well qualified on numerous instruments and in the art of singing, and that Zelenka had taught him composition “fundamenta". Nitzschner's own petition to the city council in Pirna referred to his studies with the “berühmte (famous)” Zelenka. Amazingly, Nitzscher did not get the post he applied for as he was considered to be too old, even though prime minister Count Brühl, the most powerful man in the Saxony beside August III, also wrote a recommendation for Nitzscher and thus placing an enormous pressure on the Pirna authorities.

    The importance of this document is truly great:
    1. We learn of another Zelenka student. Sadly, no compositions seem to exist from Nitzschner’s pen.
    2. It was the obligation of court musicians in Dresden to nurture young musicians and train promising prospects for possible entry into the court orchestra. However, in this case Nitzschner was 53 years old and therefore no youngster anymore, which leads one to believe that he paid Zelenka for his studies. I also believe that he can not have been the only “outside” paying student/customer of Zelenka like this and if true, then the composer could have supplemented his salary considerably with his teachings. But it must be said also that we do not know when Nitzschner studied with Zelenka – most likely it was in the 1730s but perhaps even earlier.
    3. Nitzschner's reference to the “famous" Zelenka is yet another proof of the esteem in which he was held at the time.
    4. Next to Zelenka’s signature in the letter is his seal in red wax: this is the first and only example we have of this. Unfortunately, we could not see from the scan the details no doubt found in the seal – his official stamp of approval. All will be revealed by Maul in the published conference proceedings.
    5. New Zelenka documents are still surfacing!!

    Jan Stockigt read two papers – first her own overview of the events of the momentous year of 1733, when Saxon Elector and Polish King August II died in Warsaw and his son and successor Friedrich August took over the reigns. He had already by late 1730 taken over the direction of the court orchestra from his father, as I have demonstrated in my article on Zelenka’s secular vocal collection. Based on entries in published court documents, entries in the Jesuit diaries and the Jesuit letters to Rome, diary entries of the young Crown Prince Friedrich Christian, plus the known activities/petitions of the Dresden musicians and musical events, Stockigt presented a calender table for the whole year, each month and the most important dates. Many new conclusions can be reached when seeing the events of the year presented this way, the most important outcome of which is, in my opinion, Jan’s very well argued hypothesis that Missa Eucaristica (ZWV 15) was performed at the end of May that year. Also, by listing in details of the Erbhuldigung (homage) ceremonies held in the various Saxon cities for Friedrich August as the new Elector, Stockigt was able to demonstrate the religious shift of new ruler: the court was now going full blast Catholic, while August II had danced an admirable ballet between the two religions – Protestant and Catholic – after his conversion in 1697, in order to gain the Polish Crown.

    Unfortunately, Andrew Frampton had to cancel his conference appearance, but Jan Stockigt (as his mentor and supervisor in Melbourne) saved the day by reading his thesis study on the Missa Sancti Spiritus (ZWV 4). Having heard Stockigt speak well about this scholar for many years, this was my first exposure to Andrew's research on the manuscript sources of Zelenka. And I and others were very impressed: this was forensic work that uncovered the full compositional history of the Mass and its revisions, through watermarks, palaeography and handwriting. It is hoped that Andrew will devote more of his time to Zelenka studies.

    Claudia Lubkoll cancelled her talk on the paper and watermark sources on Zelenka’s Psalms, which was a real shame given that in last year’s conference her insights brought a fresh new angle on Zelenka’s compositions. Anselm Hartinger also cancelled his much anticipated talk but once again Jan Stockigt came to the rescue by supplying an unpublished paper about the Italian and French styles in Dresden and the mixed style ("vermischter Geschmack”). Michaela Freemanová, who moderated the conference, read the paper on Stockigt’s behalf. Afterwards, a discussion took place on the terminology in use of the works of Zelenka and others, of the French and Italian, f.e. Hautbois/Oboe, or Sonata or Suonata. Did this perhaps refer to the different way of interpreting the music in question? I look forward to see Stockigt’s conclusions in what is hopefully a forthcoming publication of her study.

    Wolfgang Horn discussed the compositional forms of the late Masses, while Clemens Harasim examined Zelenka’s Magnifcat settings in context with other versions of this text. It will be great to see their studies in print in the forthcoming conference publication.

    To conclude: Like last year, this second Zelenka Festival Conference brought us much new information. But is it possible to have a conference every year with new information and insights into Zelenka’s music? This is the big question and it was much debated amongst the participants this year. I do think this is achievable, but it will only happen if there is more input from the Czech musicologists and/or students of the music of the baroque period. The lack of Czech speakers this year was surprising, and begs the question: why is there no serious systematic research/study project being undertaken in the higher educational institutes in Zelenka's country of birth, now, for what seems to be a very long period? At the same time his music is being championed by all the great Czech baroque ensembles, such as Adam Viktora and his Ensemble Inegale, Vaclav Luks and his Collegium 1704, Marek Stryncl and his Musica Florea, Jana Semerádová and her Collegium Marianum, and last but not least the pioneer Robert Hugo and his Musica Regia. The balance doesn’t seem to be right here.

    But, something wonderful has come out of this all, thanks to Adam and Gabriela. The last year’s proceedings have now been published for all to see, see the link provided by Xanaseb above, containing a wealth of new information which I hope will be welcomed by all Zelenka lovers. Also, Odie, one of the members of the Forum who I had the great pleasure of meeting before the last concert, showed us a recent study which, I think, discussed a church cantor somewhere in the Czech lands, who performed a wide range of Zelenka works over a long period in the years after WWII. A reception study such as this would have belonged to the conference. So, perhaps Czech musicologists are working on our Zelenka after all, but I usually draw blank looks from my Czech colleagues when I ask about these things.

    Finally, one of the best things was the chance to finally meet in person and spend time with some of the contributers to this Forum, like rnkt who was there with his head full of Zelenka, and his exciting plans for making an edition for the keyboard as we have followed here in the Forum. And Xanaseb, whose very impressive knowledge and burning passion for Zelenka we all know so well. I do hope that Jan Stockigt managed to infect him further with the Zelenka virus in their many meetings during the week in Prague, as indeed happened to me in Dresden back in 2005 – a life-altering moment which led to a very rewarding path of discovery with Zelenka.

  • Hi everybody,

    I intend to translate the thesis into English, when I have a time, and send it to Dr. Stockigt (the original study in Czech can be found here - for instance, the page 89 of the pdf is of special interest :)). By this, hopefully, a Czech speaker will emerge at the Conference next year...

    Also, here is a very bad photo of our meeting before the Saturday´s concert ;)

  • Also, here is a very bad photo of our meeting before the Saturday´s concert ;)

    Zelenka was constantly distracting us, so we (nearly all) forgot to pose! Anyway, not a bad photo. On the right, the seasoned academics (djdresden and Jan Stockigt) and on the left the young (and not so young) upstarts and future seasoned academics (xanaseb :) ), from left to right, testudo, xanaseb, rnkt

  • Thanks to Djdresden for covering the Conference, and the questions it raises for the future. I'll just add some more notes:

    Wolfgang Horn's talk was about the forms&genres for Choruses / Choir pieces through all of Zelenka's Mass settings. This follows from his paper from last year which surveyed Zelenka's Mass arias. He focused especially on ZWV 19, Missa Dei Patris. He said that if he were to choose the best Mass from the Missae Ultimae, he would pick this over Missa O.S ZWV 21, which was surprising to hear [though, I have to say that for a long time it remained my favourite piece of Zelenka's]. One of the reasons for his choice is the Credo, which he showed by examples was the epitome of Zelenka's "Extensive-concertato-ritornello-chorus" genre. Horn identifies this genre as category 'd.' alongside 4 other genres (a. Choir "blocks" - short and homophonic, b. Short fugues - expressive or conventional, c. Long Allegro Choir fugues, e. Through-composed chorus (ie. Credo from ZWV 16&21)). Category d. is where Zelenka is 'most in his own', according to Horn, and where he is most experimental. Very commonly it is found in the 'Gloria'. The most distinctive characteristic is the use of orchestral Ritornello which then interplays with the Choir and is experimented / played around with. Then, the Ritornello is re-used at the end, BUT with the addition of a completely new theme. This is called the 'Einbau' technique, and Horn said that it can be found as far back as Missa Sanctae Caecilliae ZWV 1 (c.1711+). This was the most interesting observation, and he asked the question: How was Zelenka so aware and proficient in this form at such an early stage in his composing career? His presentation was very interactive (playing various segments to us with the sheet music on screen). This showed how successfully Zelenka mastered this genre in ZWV 19 & 20, where the attractive Ritornellos push the music forward, and leading to energetic 'Final Crescendo's. In ZWV 19, Horn pointed out the juxtaposition of this form against the 'a.' Choir "block" form, with great effect. He also pointed out in ZWV 20 how the 'laudamus te, benedicimus te (etc.)' refrain is interwoven. Which, I pointed out and has been pointed out in this forum, is also seen in Missa Fidei ZWV6 (1725). All this analysis strongly reinforced the genius of Zelenka's work in the Late Masses.

    Andrew Frampton's talk on ZWV 4, as djdresden says, was impressive and thorough. It was so detailed that I can't really do it justice here. Thankfully, his critical edition and study of the Mass is online to look at (1st document is the edition, the 2nd document is the study) - they formed his Master's thesis. In his talk which Stockigt read out, the comment which sticks most in my mind is that Zelenka's additions, revision and insertions to the Mass show his care and pride for his manuscript.
    Frampton also has worked on, and is currently working on, a study of Agricola, a composer who he identifies as the copyist of the Tenbury Missa Paschalis manuscript. Here is his 2016 article on how he did the identification, which is in Understanding Bach, volume 11.
    Wolfgang Horn commented afterwards how the presentation, which was full of images, shows how valuable the digitisation process has been in granting access to so much of Zelenka's music (and that of innumerable other composers). I can fully testify to that! Frampton did, of course, do a lot of personal hands-on research.

    Now, Michael Maul's talk and Clemens Harasim's were in German (they both are based in Leipzig), and sadly were only translated live to Czech (which I could only make out odd meanings here and there). So, thank-you to Djdresden for the summary! :) Maul put up the document on the screen to view, and Zelenka's signature with the red-wax seal is something quite special, and I can't wait for it to be accessible - a crop of it should certainly go up on jdzelenka.net.
    Harasim's talk was, like Horn's, very audio-friendly with clips from Magnificat settings from C.P.E Bach, J.S. Bach and Telemann (and of course Zelenka's). I think (if I understood correctly) that he was suggesting that there was some special symbolic significance to the use of trumpets in Magnificats. One of the key examples was the return back to the dominant key ( D maj ) in the "Fecit Potentiam"s ("He has showed strength"). And, the use of extroverted Amen fugues. I can't be too sure if this was explicitly said, but: In the Leipzig lutheran sacred music tradition, the Magnificat was perceived as an ideal style, which integrated a large range of compositional techniques. That Zelenka also does this shows some interchange or awareness of this (perhaps).

    Janice Stockigt's first paper was very wide-ranging and detailed, and it condenses the immense article that is published in Clavibus Unitis - those interested in the most up to date information on Zelenka's life, his Court colleagues and the Royal family really should give it a read (scroll above). The second paper, read by Michaela Freemanová, raises interesting questions about how and to what extent the French and Italian styles mixed in the Dresden Orchestra. I found most illuminating the evidence in parts for Basso Continuo showing that Zelenka must have fully mastered the French playing style as well as Italian. Also, the influence from the Viennese Imperial Court orchestra with its blend of Italian, French and German was emphasised. Stockigt argued that all this blending required strong leadership. In Vienna, this was Johann Joseph Fux. In Dresden, there are a number of figures, but Zelenka's role shouldn't be counted out by any means.

    It was amazing to hear the results of her scholarship and Ágústsson's live after reading so much of it at home. As djdresden says above, her interaction throughout the week was inspiring to say the least, and I hope she doesn't mind me saying how welcoming, engaging and encouraging she was. And, so was he, very much so! A truly formidable duo. The company of all these academics and enthusiasts was very warm indeed. I find it fitting and somewhat symbolic that this multi-national blend of people, meeting in the beautiful historical City of Prague, reflects the nature of the 18thC Dresden music scene itself - a fruitful era of skill and creativity that draws so much love and admiration to this day.

  • Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to say thanks for your very kind comments on my paper at the Zelenka Festival in Prague. I was very sorry indeed not to be able to make it, but it's been great to read such detailed accounts of the proceedings. Many thanks to Janice Stockigt for reading the paper out on my behalf. I'm looking forward to attending future events, though, and hopefully meeting some of you. It's fantastic to be part of such a passionate and friendly global community of Zelenka scholars, performers and fans. In the meantime, hello from Oxford! *waves*

    Andrew Frampton :)

  • Two new Zelenka articles are found in the next issue of Clavibus Unitis:

    This includes Anselm Harasim’s fine study about the Magnificats ZWV 107+108. This was the paper he gave in the Zelenka conference last October as reported above. I am hoping that more papers from the conference will be added to this issue soon, especially Michael Maul’s report on the important document he uncovered in Pirna.

    My co-written article with Jan Stockigt on the Te Deum performance in Bautzen in May 1733 is also included. This has been forever in the works so it is a big relief to have it out of the way. Some of the information is already in our big Zelenka article from last year, but here is the full story. It was such a great pleasure to work on this article and to walk in the footsteps of Zelenka in the St Petri Dom, and also to see the house where he stayed with the butchers wife. Enjoy!

  • Two new Zelenka articles are found in the next issue of Clavibus Unitis:

    This includes Anselm Harasim’s fine study about the Magnificats ZWV 107+108. This was the paper he gave in the Zelenka conference last October as reported above. I am hoping that more papers from the conference will be added to this issue soon, especially Michael Maul’s report on the important document he uncovered in Pirna.

    My co-written article with Jan Stockigt on the Te Deum performance in Bautzen in May 1733 is also included. This has been forever in the works so it is a big relief to have it out of the way. Some of the information is already in our big Zelenka article from last year, but here is the full story. It was such a great pleasure to work on this article and to walk in the footsteps of Zelenka in the St Petri Dom, and also to see the house where he stayed with the butchers wife. Enjoy!

    Thanks very much for posting these. Really interesting reading.

    On reading the Te Deum article, it reminded me about something I had been meaning to post on this forum for a while; the interpretation or best practice on allocating flute parts from Zelenka's scores. The Te Deum is an example of a score where flutes only appear in a couple of movements in the score, but in some Dresden works you will find that although flutes don't appear in the score there will be parts for them where they double the oboes in Tutti sections of the music. An big example of this is the score and parts for Hasse's Cleofide (although the parts in existence might not be the original first performance performing parts, I'm not sure). JS Bach's Dresden Mass is another example where the parts show the flutes doubling in movements other than those indicated in the score. But that doesn't always appear to be the case. There are also other examples, where the original flute parts only have the movements indicated in the score.

    When I have been asked to transcribe a work for performance, I get round this issue by adding the Tutti movements into the flute parts (particularly where the ritornello of an aria is simply marked in the score as Tutti) but marking them as only an option for performance as this is not indicated in the score. But I like to set out the options for a director to make an informed choice. Likewise, I have in the past supplied idiomatic oboe parts which I have extracted from a violin line where the director is likely to have oboe players who don't want to just be given the violin line as written in the score (though usually baroque oboists can work out their part themselves from a violin line quite competently). Heinichen is another example where it would be fine to add the flutes to the Tutti lines in movements of a concerto where the score doesn't indicate their presence per se.

    I have not carried out any formal research myself, so I don't claim to be an expert. But I was curious to know what research there might be out there to read or what other's opinions are on this from their experience of the Dresden archive. Perhaps the answer is that it's inconclusive as enough evidence for either way is not there? I don't know.

    Apologies, this was quite long winded in the end. Maybe it needs a new thread if it turns out to be a big topic.

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