Archetypal Zelenka Phrase

  • I'm searching for an archetypal or highly representative or just particularly beautiful and/or interesting/eccentric Zelenka musical phrase for a Zelenka Musical T-shirt. Here's roughly how it would look, using Bach as the example:

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    Can anyone help? I was thinking maybe something from the six sonatas but thought I'd ask here first. A phrase from a choral work would be ideal.

    The T-shirt will be sold commercially but I'd be happy to include a donation to this site for each sale. I've been a member here for a while, am a Zelenka fan, and would like to contribute.

  • You can find examples of Zelenka's autograph scores and parts in the Dresden State Library musical manuscripts collection, which has been recently digitized. You can download them in pdf form, even in color! I agree that one of those convoluted double fugue subjects would be outstanding, like the second Kyrie in the Mass for the Most Holy Trinity. I'd be happy to buy a T-shirt, if you can get me one in XXL. Neat idea!

  • Thanks! Dresden here I come. :p

    Quote from kplmstr

    I'd be happy to buy a T-shirt, if you can get me one in XXL. Neat idea!

    That's great, but I'm genuinely not here to spam up sales. The collection will include all the old favourites - Brandenburgs, Beethoven 5 opening, Eine kleine Nachtmusik etc etc. But I'd love to, in a small way, be part of the Zelenka revival. I've just been listening to the new Missa Omnium Sanctorum recording, reported on another thread, and it's fabulous.

    Thanks again. Please keep ideas coming. Once I've mined something from Dresden I'll report back here with a design and see what people think.

    I took a couple of (rough) photos of a prototype. They give an idea of what a Zelenka would look like:

    Musical T-Shirt - Bach Chaconne - 1

    Musical T-Shirt - Bach Chaconne - 2

  • Can anyone link to public domain scores of:


    Credo of ZWV2 ms 185 "Descendit"



    second Kyrie in the Mass for the Most Holy Trinity

    I've searched the Dresden collection and found lots of Zelenka but can't make head or tail of their cataloguing system. Sorry if I'm being foolish but I pull up a score, in Zelenka's wonderful spidery handwriting, and don’t know what I'm looking at. I can tell it's not a Ligeti score, but that doesn't help much!

    They need to be public domain or I'd have to sort out a license.

  • For pure awkwardness, that "Descendit" theme would be cool, as (which would be funnier) the "Cum sancto spiritu" theme from ZWV 14. The syncopated 'Cum sancto spiritu' from Missa Circumcisionis beginning is a pure joke in the sense of Haydn's Symphony 80 finale.

    But for Zelenka-style awkwardness combined with (for me, at least) true beauty, I'd suggest the Kyrie II theme from Missa Omnium Sanctorum (see here…L5FD12BC7978E5492&index=2 ).

    Still, the most breathtaking theme (actually, two themes combined) for me is that of the "Et vitam venturi saeculi" double fugue from Missa Omnium Sanctorum. Sadly, whenever I find a copy of the score, it costs more than 230 Euros (and I work in a part of the academia not related to music, so I don't have funding for scores), so I won't be able to provide a scan of the theme. I could type it ("from hearing") into Lilypond and create a PDF, I think.

  • ZWV 179 Cantilena circularis 'Vide Domine', because its inclusion in Telemann's 'Der getreue Music-Meister' would lead one to infer that this was Zelenka's most widely-disseminated composition during his lifetime.

  • Thanks very much for the suggestions. I'm putting out feelers elsewhere to lay my hands on PD copies of the pieces mentioned (all help from here would also be much appreciated). In the meantime, IMSLP seems the safest bet -- each score's been through their copyright review process and is definitely public domain. Could I ask someone to cast their eye over the IMSLP list and point to any particularly beautiful/iconic/eccentric themes?,_Jan_Dismas

  • If we are really talking about T-shirts or the like (are we?), then I would have thought that skiaouros' suggestion of Zelenka's handwriting would be the best - both words and music. There is a nice rectangular motif for a T-shirt which Zelenka designed especially for you on the first page of his autograph score to Missa Dei Filii ZWV 20 (below the actual title of the mass). You can reach it on the Discover Zelenka website under "Manuscripts".

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