I am pleased to inform you today of a sensational Zelenka musical manuscript discovery.
A joint investigation with my Icelandic colleague Kjartan Óskarsson led us early last year to an European library where we uncovered a previously unknown 19th-century copy of Zelenka's Statio quadruplex pro Processione Theophorica (ZWV 158). According to the official work list (ZWV) this is probably Zelenka's earliest preserved work, and must have been composed in Prague sometime pre-1710 for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Only the first section of four is preserved in the Dresden library (SLUB) in Zelenka’s own handwriting, but the three remaining sections are lost. Nine parts once existed in Dresden but these went missing in 1945.
The newly discovered score now gives us the full picture. Sections 1-2 are for four voices (SATB) and organ, and sections 3-4 for eight voices (SSAATTBB) and organ. The most amazing thing here is that the fourth and final section is Da pacem Domine, which Zelenka orchestrated so brilliantly three decades later (ZWV 167, ca. 1740).
We are now working on an article with the distinguished scholar Michael Talbot, which reveals further details of this find and provides a full musical analysis of this truly extraordinary score. Hopefully we will be able to publish this early next year. And I have just been in contact with Adam Viktora of the Ensemble Inégal, who plans to record the music for release next year.
Statio quadruplex pro Processione Theophorica will receive its modern-day premiere here in Iceland next month, in the Sumartónleikar í Skálholti (Skálholt Music Festival). The brilliant Icelandic tenor Benedikt Kristjánsson has recently been appointed the musical director of this long-established festival, and as a result the program this year is very ambitious and exciting. The flutist Jana Semerádóva, founder and leader of the excellent Prague ensemble Collegium Marianum, will direct the Icelandic baroque group Brák and singers such as Kristjánsson and the counter-tenor David Erler in a program dedicated to the music of our beloved Zelenka. Alongside the newly discovered work, another gem from Zelenka's Prague years will be performed: this is Immisit Dominus pestilentiam (ZWV 58, 1709), which Semerádóva recorded with her ensemble few years ago. Finally, the Litaniae Lauretanae “Consolatrix afflictorum” (ZWV 151, 1744), will round up this terrific program of early and late Zelenka works. For further information, see: