New Zelenka sheet music at IMSLP

  • There are some new editions of scores and parts from Zelenka works at IMSLP:

    ZWV 4 (from Harrer´s manuscript)
    ZWV 7 (from Pisendels copy and Zelenkas autograph)
    ZWV 9 (from Harrer´s manuscript)
    ZWV 57 (added parts and vocal score)
    ZWV 124
    ZWV 127
    ZWV 137 (from Harrer´s manuscript)
    ZWV 141 (from Harrer´s manuscript)

  • I made only the parts of ZWV 57 for a performance in England, the editor of all the other is Werner Jaksch, a friend of mine. His last upload to
    IMSLP is the Missa integra, ZWV 23. But this work is apparently not by Zelenka, it is from a later period.

  • ... which is very interesting e.g. in the Cruficixus; I see some things differently ;) Great job, Mr. Jaksch! Fantastic that these scores are publicly available.

    ZWV 6 is coming. Actually I just compiled the big pdf with the whole thing today; it's been revised after Dresden published the good quality scan. I went through it note-by-note and there are many changes :) I'll take a few looks at it to search for mistakes and will publish it shortly.

  • The IMSLP uploads recently have been fantastic. In particularly, the upload of the Serenata Il Diamante is being utilized for upcoming performances. Typeset score and parts will probably be uploaded at some point once complete.

  • A score and parts of ZWV 30 is a fantastic achievement - this is one of my top 5 favourite Zelenka works!! If the dating back to 1714 is correct then this is one of the earliest works we have but it already shows traits of Zelenka's mature style. It is interesting to compare this work to Vivaldi's Gloria which was composed *possibly* at a time when Zelenka *possibly* was in Venice (IMSLP says "1716?"). It does not escape the ear that the opening ripieni of both works are rather similar (octaves answered by trumpets at thirds in the Vivaldi and oboes at thirds in the Zelenka). Maybe this is just coincidence, maybe there are other works from that time with that motif. Obviously, Zelenka goes much more to town with the counterpoint than Vivaldi - at the end of the Gloria the surprise recapitulation of the "Gloria in excelsis" theme as a double fugue with the "et in terra pax" theme is pure genius. The favourite movement for me however is the Gratias. Simply terrifying and begging for a recording á la Inégal's brilliant but violent Gloria from the Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis.

    As I have posted elsewhere I am working on a piano transcription of the wonderful ZWV 30 Cum Sancto fugue, subject of a great youtube recording by the Russkaya Conservatoria (complete with on fire Timpani which are possibly authentic, coming from a set of parts I read somewhere are in Prague - sorry I cannot find the citation now). That fugue is interestingly also not a million miles away from the Vivaldi fugue (I know, it was actually by Ruggieri) which closes his Gloria though the Zelenka is certainly more climactic.

    Needless to say, this work needs performing and recording. Russkaya Conservatoria did a great job with the bits of their performance released to YouTube but the recording quality simply does not cut. I hope this work is somehow on Inégal's radar.

    Whether ZWV 30 catches up in terms of fame with the Vivaldi work it *possibly* inspired (I know, I am pushing the boat out a bit here...) remains to be seen. Like most Zelenka, "unfortunately", it requires a virtuoso ensemble and choir, unlike the Vivaldi Gloria which most high-school orchestras and choirs (including my own) can do a decent job of.


  • The favourite movement for me however is the Gratias. Simply terrifying and begging for a recording á la Inégal's brilliant but violent Gloria from the Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis.

    A great great movement indeed, the Gratias. I liked the almost proto-Wagnerian way in which the lovely Christe Eleison motif (ZWV 26/ZWV2) is warped into a series of minor keys, and isn't given a sense of relief/fulfillment (it spins straight into a dark sounding Qui Tollis tutti fugue, a thing in itself!).

    RNKT's compared ZWV30 to Vivaldi, I've compared it to Wagner (a stretch)... what next? ;)

  • The favourite movement for me however is the Gratias.


    Not that I wish to dampen any enthusiasm for this work, but unfortunately I don't believe Zelenka was quite as adventurous as that Youtube recording would have us believe. I think it is bar 2 of the Gratias that has the extraordinary harmony, but I (and I am sure others) believe this may actually be a typesetting error from the manuscript. The tenor line in the recording (along with the doubling trombone) is being sung a tone lower than in the manuscript resulting in an extraordinarily modern cluster chord. It sounds wonderful, but it isn't Zelenka. The correct harmony can be heard when the same material reappears later in the movement. It's quite a common error (Ive done it myself) when transcribing choral music written in multiple C clefs into the modern Treble clef usage.

    Please someone do correct me if I've got this wrong and there is another explanation, but the manuscript on IMSLP clearly shows harmony that's more standard for the time. However RISM shows there is a set of parts, so maybe there is a copyist error to be fond in there?

    As for the timps, they aren't mentioned in the score and the set of parts I dont think includes a part for them. It's not usual to get timps without trumpets either so i'm sceptical without further evidence. So at the moment I can only assume the conductor wanted to beef up the octave stamping motive despite the fact that Zelenka uses this same figure as a bass line in a lot of his works.

    I feel like I've come across as negative, I dont mean to. I love this work, I am just wary that some of the unusual elements of that performance risk making the work stand apart from other works for the wrong reasons. :)

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