Posts by djdresden

    Dear Msl,

    it was a fabulous conference. Great to get a fresh new perspective from the Swiss scholars and here I include the contribution of Dr. Esma Cerkovnik, who organized the conference and gave a fantastic introduction, which was a remarkable paper itself and set the tone for the proceedings. And Adam's paper was an eye opener on all fronts – he approached it not as a musicologist but as the musician who has worked all these years on Zelenka and the challenges he and his ensemble have faced when interpreting the music. I am hoping that the papers will be published, we should know in the coming months.

    As for my contribution, well, I presented some new hard Zelenka sources. But I set out with a certain theme, namely that the composer was hired in Prague in July 1711, thus taking further this idea first put forward in my co-written article with Janice Stockigt: Recent Research etc., as published online in Clavibus Unitis in 2015. It was very tempting to interpret two recently discovered sources (from 2021 and 2023) in such a way that these findings supported this idea. So, roughly half of my paper focused on the events leading up to the travel of August the Strong and his son, Kurprinz Friedrich Christian, to Prague in the first week of July, their time in the Bohemian capital and what followed.

    However, I am now pleased to report that following my incredibly successful research in Dresden last week, this idea has completely collapsed and it feels great to have this egg on my face, having fried it there myself. In short, I have uncovered several new Zelenka documents, one of which is a historic find. Of course this calls for further digging in the vast collections of the Dresden archives to place this new information into context, and hopefully there will be time to update the (possible) conference article if and when the time comes.


    another very exciting concert coming up, this time in Prague: On Friday 5 April, Adam Viktora and Ensemble Inégal will present the Czech premiere of Zelenka’s newly discovered early work, Statio quadruplex pro Processione Theophorica (ZWV 158), which Kjartan Óskarsson and I uncovered in 2022, see the relevant thread Zelenka: important manuscript discovery

    Zelenka’s masterful Miserere (ZWV 56, 1722) will also be performed, in addition to the piece I have been dying to hear for many years: Zelenka’s arrangement of Allegri’s famous Miserere. Long time readers of this Forum will remember when in 2007 I reported on the discovery in Moscow of the complete set of parts of this work and others from Zelenka’s collection, see Dresden manuscripts in Moscow Many years later we learned more in the paper given by the Russian choir director Maria Sawinkowa at the Zelenka Conference in Prague in 2018, where we got to see some of these parts for the first time, see Xanaseb’s conference report: Zelenka Conferences Prague 2017 & 2018 report

    So, as you can imagine, this promises to be some concert! And the best part is, that this is the program on the next CD release of Ensemble Inégal – the studio recording will be made this summer. Once again I urge all of you reading this, to support the brave labels and musicians who are releasing Zelenka's music on CDs, to purchase a physical copy of their labour: this is absolutely vital for us to be able to continue to enjoy the fruits of our dear composer.

    The Prague concert will be held at Kostele U Salvátora, Salvátorská ul, Praha1, and begins at 19.30. Tickets can be bought here:



    a live recording of the historic concert in Iceland last year will be broadcast on Channel 1 (Rás 1) of the Icelandic National Radio (RÚV) on Easter Day, 31 March, at 16.00 GMT. Do tune in to hear the modern-day premiere of Zelenka’s long lost early work Statio quadruplex pro Processione Theophorica (ZWV 158), the details of which are given above, plus the two other fine pieces performed in this concert.

    More info here:

    The broadcast:

    The stream will be available in the radio archive until 30 April.




    the 40th Early Music Festival in Zurich takes place next month, with the focus being on Leipzig and Dresden. For the many Swiss Zelenka fans this festival promises a double treat. First, the absolutely irresistible Ensemble Inégal will open the festival on 3 March with a selection of Zelenka’s Vespers. And second, on 16 March a conference dedicated to our composer is held at the Musicology Institute of the Zurich University. The preliminary program looks good:

    10.30–13.00 Uhr Musikwissenschaftliches Institut der Universität Zürich, Florhofgasse 11, Seminarraum

    10:00–10:15: Begrüssung und Einleitung

    10:15–11:00: Jóhannes Ágústsson (Reykjavík)
    Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Early Years in Dresden (1711–1714): New Sources, New Insights

    11:00–11:45: Thomas Hochradner (Salzburg)
    Musterschülerschaft? Überlegungen zu Jan Dismas Zelenkas Studien bei Johann
    Joseph Fux

    11:45–12:30: Václav Kapsa (Prag)
    Mapping the Bohemian Network of Jan Dismas Zelenka. Overview and Perspectives
    for Further Research

    --- Pause ---

    13:15–14:00: Angelika Moths (Zürich)
    Geistlich wider Willen – Modale und satztechnische Besonderheiten in den Mess- und
    Psalmvertonungen von Jan Dismas Zelenka

    14:00–14:45: Laurenz Lütteken (Zürich)
    Eingebildete Affekte? Anmerkungen zu Zelenkas Hipocondrie

    14:45–15:30: Adam Viktora (Prag)
    Zwischen den vielen süßen Früchten des Mandelbaums: Werke von Jan Dismas
    Zelenka aus der Sicht eines Musikers

    Entrance is free. For more info see the website of the festival:

    I will be presenting some nice new sources so do drop by!



    the new Ensemble Inégal CD is out:

    Zelenka J.D. Te Deum, Missa Eucharistica, Credo / Ensemble Inégal / A.Viktora | Czech Classical Music |

    Finally we get to hear the Missa Eucharistica (ZWV 15, 1733), which clearly can be considered as a sister work to Missa Purificationis (ZWV 15) from the same year. Oh, wow, the chalumeau aria!! It’s heavenly. And at last we get a great recording of the majestic Te Deum (ZWV 145, 1724). The fabulous Credo (ZWV 31, late 1720s) rounds up yet another excellent release from Adam Viktora and his forces.

    I urge everyone to purchase a physical copy, for that is the best way to support the good work of the Nibiru record label and the fine record store CDMUSIC in Prague.


    Exciting concert coming up on MDR Klassik next Friday. The excellent Czech ensemble Collegium Marianum directed by Jana Semerádová, will perform Zelenka’s rarely played Salve Regina (ZWV 139, 1724) and other goodies.

    MDR KLASSIK – Radio und Konzerte | MDR.DE
    MDR KLASSIK vereint das gleichnamige Radio, MDR-Sinfonieorchester, MDR-Rundfunkchor, MDR-Kinderchor und MDR-Musiksommer. Für Neulinge, Interessierte und echte…

    Fr08.09.202320:00Uhr (GMT+2)150:00 min

    MDR Klassik - Konzert


    Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1741) Ouverture IV. in g

    Ouverture, Rigaudon, Trio Bourrée, Da Capo Rigaudon,

    Aire La Double, Gigue from Concentus musico-instrumentalis, 1701

    Aria "Quae est ista tam pulchra tam cara"

    Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) Triosonata in G minor QV 2:34

    Antonín Reichenauer (1694-1730) "Regina coeli"

    Frantisek Ignác Antonín Tuma (1704-1774) Sinfonia d moll

    Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) Concerto G dur pro flétnu, smycce a continuo

    Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745) "Salve regina" pro bas, 2 housle a continuo, ZWV 139

    Johann Joseph Fux (1660 - 1767) Ouvertüre g-Moll (Nr. IV aus "Concentus Musico Instrumentalis")

    Johann Joseph Fux (1660 - 1767) Aria per la Madonna Santissima "Quae es ista, tam pulchra tam cara"

    Johann Joachim Quantz (1697 - 1773) Triosonate g-Moll QV 2:34

    Tomás Selc - baritone


    Lenka Torgersen - violine, concert master

    Vojtech Semerád or Malgorzata Malke - violin

    Andreas Torgersen - viola

    Hana Fleková - violoncello

    Filip Hrubý - harpsichord, organ

    Jana Semerádová - flauto traverso, artistic direction

    Aufnahme vom 13.08.2023, Weißensee, Kulturkirche


    my Sunday in Skálholt started off with a very nice cantata service in the church, and the music of Bach was beautifully played and sung by Benedikt Kristjánsson and his group. But here, the Leipzig cantor was only a hors d’oeuvre for the main course being served later. In short, the second performance of Zelenka’s music was even better than on Saturday – especially the Statio quadruplex pro Processione Theophorica (ZWV 158). I think the singers and the director Jana Semerádóva must have talked over what could have been done better, and one could hear it in the first notes being sung. It was perfectly natural for the singers to display some tension when premiering this difficult music Saturday, but this second take sounded more relaxed and Zelenka’s complex web of voices was clearer and brighter.

    This music is simply amazing and surprising. I still can not get my head around all of this. But it is clear that this is a major new Zelenka discovery, one that shows what a fine composer he was already in his Prague years and before he went to Dresden. I am currently working on an article about his early years in the Saxon capital, a study which will reveal the earliest Dresden source where he is mentioned, and the conclusions drawn from this fresh new archival find.

    The other works also benefitted from the singers and musicians celebrating Saturday evening their great performances and the bubbly flowing freely afterwards. Jana directed this group with her great musicality, charm and affection. I was in total awe when introduced to her! Zelenka’s Immisit Dominus pestilentiam (ZWV 58) was beautifully performed. My dear friend and colleague Kjartan Óskarsson played the chalumeau in the aria “Recordare, Domine” and did it very well. He and his wife, pianist Hrefna Eggertsdóttir, could look on with great pride; not only was their son Eggert Kjartansson (who once shared the Salzburg stage with Bartoli!) singing the tenor in the choir, but most, if not all, of the other singers and musicians were at some point their students. Btw, I highly recommend Óskarsson’s fine article about the chalumeau in Zelenka’s music, which was published by the Czech journal Clavibus unitis in 2019: – his article on Heinichen’s use of the chalumeau is in print and will appear soon. What will follow is his study on the chalumeau in the music of Hasse and Ristori, Zelenka’s colleagues.

    Final words: first, on the attendance for this unique occasion. For both concerts the church was packed with enthusiastic listeners. Afterwards I met many who had traveled both days the whole 90 minute drive from the capital Reykjavík. That’s the power and appeal of the great music of our Zelenka. Second, kudos to Benedikt Kristjánsson, who immediately realized the importance of Zelenka’s modern-day premiere of ZWV 158. His directorship of the Skálholt Music Festival begins in grand style. He later told me that these were perhaps the most intense and brilliant performances he had ever been part of here in Iceland. Hats off! Now I only have to persuade him to dedicate a program to three of Zelenka’s Dresden students; Johann Samuel Kaÿser, Tobias Buz and Augustin Uhlig!! What a concert that would be.


    PS I can not resist the urge to promote the new and exciting CD of Benedikt Kristjánsson where he sings the Judas arias and recitatives of Bach. This is now out on the Coviello label:


    late into the beautiful Icelandic midnight sun I have the pleasure of reporting on the most incredible concert in Skálholt, Iceland, where Zelenka’s music was listened to in deep admiration by a packed church, followed by a standing ovation for the music and its performers. There were people around me with open mouths when Zelenka’s powerful choruses hit their ears. And tears were shed. Yes, he perched the hearts of the many listeners tonight, as he is wont to do.

    The setting was wonderful. I remember when, coming here as a young boy with my family and later many times with my school, I had a great reverence for this holy place, the seat of bishops in the past and a place of culture and knowledge. We were taught that this was one of the most important places in Iceland. And today, I felt this great feeling again in a different and stronger sense. Zelenka’s presence certainly added to the feeling and sense of occasion.

    In short, the performance of ZWV 158 was revelatory. We do not have anything like this in his oeuvre. Before the concert the singers were raving especially about the third section and its unusual composition and dissonances. I’ve mentioned Benedikt Kristjánsson above – as perhaps the finest tenor of his generation he is certainly no stranger to complex music – and he was mentally and physically affected by the dinner served by Zelenka this time. I, too, was stunned, to hear Zelenka’s treatment of the word Miserere. That blessed word was a never-ending inspiration for our composer. And here we have the earliest example!

    That said, there will be discussions on how ZWV 158 was performed tonight, and rightfully so. The first two sections, written for four voices, was performed this time by a double quartet. And it is specifically stated in the partiture of Zelenka of the first section, and the 19th century full copy that the only accompaniment should be the organ; tonight it was organ, cello and double bass. It was my immediate feeling that the music would benefit from a more simple setting of voice/organ, and a better separation of the singers.

    Either way, I am sure we will hear ZWV 158 again and in different settings. But the power of the music is undoubtedly great. Oh, and tonight also saw the performances of ZWV 58 Immisit Dominus pestilentam and the Litany “Consolatrix afflictorum” ZWV 151; both works were performed to the highest standards. Icelanders finally have a great baroque orchestra – Barokksveitin Brák – and some terrific singers. Benedikt is the star, but tonight the soprano Álfheiður Erla Guðmundsdóttir was just superb. The bass Oddur Arnþór Jónsson was also excellent, commanding and impressive, with a good and clear delivery of the text. He would have done well in Dresden.

    Tomorrow, or, rather today, Sunday, we will have another run of this program. AND: with the bonus of JSBach’s most brilliant cantata, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150, a devastatingly beautiful piece of music; that’s minimal Bach for you (1707). That’s at 14.00, Zelenka at 16.00. Until then…


    Dear friends,

    Saturday is the premiere and first modern-day performance of Zelenka’s early work, ZWV 158, in Skálholt, Iceland. Like most of you I am very excited for this moment. I want to thank those who have written in the past few weeks with gratulations. This means the world to me. Those who know are well aware that I am not a learned scholar; my love for Zelenka is first and foremost for his music and since 2006 I have dedicated every single free moment of my life to find out more about our composer. As a result, I do care very much about the reputation of this good and honorable man, which has been soiled in the past by many musicologists.

    Based on my researches in the last few years I have enough material and new sources for at least 11 articles on our composer. These will appear in due time. In the meantime, I ask for your patience!

    With great appreciation and respect for every Zelenka fan on this website.


    Dear friends,

    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:

    Heim | Sumartónleikar í Skálholti
    Sumartónleikar í Skálholti fara fram fyrstu tvær helgarnar í júlí ár hvert.

    Menning | Ísland | Skálholt 1100 ár af sögu og menningu
    Skálholt er einn merkasti menningar- og sögustaður Íslands. Í Skálholti er helgihald, tónlist og tónleikar, kyrrðardagar, menningar- og sögutengdir viðburðir,…

    Jóhannes Ágústsson

    Thanks Msl, this is an exciting release for all Zelenka fans, and a very welcome continuation of the outstanding Supraphon series Music from Eighteenth-Century Prague.

    Zelenka did possess “6 Psalmi di Domenica” by Brixi according to Jan Stockigt:

    "Score and parts missing from Dresden. A note jotted by Zelenka at the conclusion of his Inventarium sketches a program for a Marian Vespers, or the feast of a female Saint, Virgin, or Martyr. The settings represent a mixture of composers drawn from Zelenka’s psalm collection. The note reads: ‘19. Dixit Brixi; 20. Laudat[e] pue[ri] Brixi; 12. Laetatus [sum] Foschi; 9. Nisi; à parte 3 Lauda Jerusalem Zelen[ka]; 2 1 10 Mag[nificat] Brixi’. The numbers given by Zelenka are based upon numbers used for psalm listings given in his Inventarium. Therefore, this list was compiled between Zelenka’s Lauda Jerusalem compositions from either 1727 (ZWV 104) and c1728 (ZWV 102), and before the mid-1730s when several psalms from the sequence Vesperae de Confessore were taken over into the ‘Psalmi varii’ (1735?) and re-numbered. This list reveals that Brixi’s settings of Dixit Dominus, Laudate pueri, and Magnificat were in Zelenka’s psalm collection between c1727–8 and the mid-1730s.
    NB: Zelenka’s note ‘P’ accompanies each listing in the Inventarium.
    See Stockigt, ‘Vespers Psalms of Jan Dismas Zelenka’, App. 2, 626–9.”

    Also, an entry into the 1765 catalogue of the Catholic church in Dresden listed the following score and parts, now also missing:
    18 Psalmi per tutto l’anno

    Zelenka’s Benedictus Dominus (ZWV 206) Prague source probably stems from Brixi, according to Jana Vojteskova. Recently, Kjartan Óskarsson provided a fresh insight on Brixi’s copy of Zelenka’s aria “Recordare, Domine” from the sepulchre cantata Immisit Dominus pestilentiam (ZWV 58, 1709), in his article on Zelenka and the Chalumeau, see Clavibus unitis (2019/1, pp. 55-56):

    The Hipocondria Ensemble is yet another excellent group from Prague, and with some very familiar faces. I very much recommend their other releases: the Cernohorsky CD has some magic moments, so does the CD Music in Prague Cathedral.

    I look forward to purchase a copy of Brixi in Prague next month, during the Zelenka Festival!

    The Conference Program for the 2021 Zelenka Festival has just been announced (abstracts should follow soon):…a-conference-prague-2021/

    "We cordially invite you to the Seventh Zelenka Conference to be held in Prague on October 16, 2021. The conference is organized by Ensemble Inégal, under the auspices of Institute of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno. Ensemble Inégal is a baroque music ensemble with a long term dedication to the life and work of J. D. Zelenka, and which is behind several concerts and premiere recordings of previously unknown compositions by this composer. Since 2015, this annual conference has presented a lot of new and crucial information about the life and work of Jan Dismas Zelenka and related topics. Thanks to the publication of many papers through the peer-reviewed online catalogue Clavibus Unitis, the process of research and discovery of new facts have been set in motion. The conference is part of the long-term project Zelenka Festival Prague Dresden."

    Saturday 16. 10. 2021 | 09.30 – 17.00 Central European Time; 17.30–1.00 [Saturday] Australian EST – Velkopřevorský palác, Velkopřevorské náměstí 4, Malá Strana, Praha 1

    (9.30 – 11.30)
    Chaired by Janice Stockigt

    9.30 – 10.00
    Michael TALBOT (read by Professor Samantha OWENS): A Few Thoughts on a Zelenka Collected (or even Complete) Edition
    10.00 – 10.20
    Jiří K. KROUPA: Czech Zelenka editions until 2000
    10.20 – 10.40
    Andrew FRAMPTON: Towards a Critical Zelenka Complete Edition: Problems and Possibilities
    10.40 – 11.00
    Denis COLLINS: Editing Zelenka’s Music: The view from Music Analysis
    11.00 – 11.20
    Frederic KIERNAN: The challenges of editing Zelenka’s “Gaude laetare” (ZWV 168)
    Discussion: 10 minutes

    11.30 – 12.00

    (12.00 – 14.00)
    Chaired by Thomas Hochradner

    12.00 – 12.20
    Thomas HOCHRADNER: Introduction to the Section „Current Issues in the Editing of Baroque Music“
    12.20 – 12.40
    Tomasz JEZ: From the sunny side of the Sudetes. The music of Czech Jesuits in Wrocław
    Discussion: 5 minutes
    12.45 – 13.05
    Maciej JOCHYMCZYK: The life and work of Jacek Szczurowski SJ in the light of the editions published in the Fontes Musicae in Polonia series.
    Discussion: 5 minutes
    13.10 – 13.30
    Peter MARTINČEK: The Editing of Vocal Compositions Surviving in the Form of New German Organ Tablature
    Discussion: 5 minutes
    13.35 – 13.55
    Alexander RAUSCH: Editing Fux operas in/for practice and theory
    Discussion: 5 minutes

    14.00 – 15.00

    (15.00 – 17.00)
    Chaired by Tomasz Jeż

    15.00 – 15.20
    Shelley HOGAN: Changing basses: Marin Marais’ Alcyone tempest scene as evidence of changing orchestral practices in Zelenka’s earliest Dresden years
    Discussion: 10 minutes
    15.30 – 15.50
    Jóhannes ÁGÚSTSSON: Scheffler and Seipt: Zelenka Copyists ‘ZS 1’ and ‘ZS 2’ Revealed
    Discussion: 10 minutes
    16.00 – 16.20
    Claudia LUBKOLL: „Watermark ‘Baroque ornament’ “
    Discussion: 10 minutes
    16.30 – 16.50
    Václav KAPSA: A knot in the net? To the role of Bohosudov / Mariaschein in the musical contacts between Dresden and Bohemia during Zelenka’s time
    Discussion: 10 minutes

    Due to coronavirus measures, this year’s conference will also be live-streamed. Registrants will be able to interactively participate in the online conference.

    Registration is possible on the website

    For more information see


    the program for the Zelenka Festival 2021 has just been announced on the official website:

    13 10. 2021 at 19:30 | Prague
    Velkopřevorský palác | Rytířský sál | Malá Strana
    Orkiestra Historiczna (PL)
    Instrumental music from the Dresdner Hofkapelle - Zelenka, Heinichen, Pisendel

    14. 10. 2021 at 17:00 | Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie a sv. Karla Velikého, Praha Karlov
    Tridentine Mass with Renaissance instrumental music from Zelenka’s circle of interest performed by the ensembles Spherae sonantes and Svobodné hudební bratrstvo.

    14. 10. 2021 at 19:30 | Prague
    Velkopřevorský palác | Rytířský sál | Malá Strana
    Ensemble Marsyas (UK) - Trio Sonatas of Jan Dismas Zelenka

    15 10. 2021 at 19:30 | Prague
    Kostel Marie Panny pod řetězem | Malá Strana
    Dresdner Kammerchor (DE), Ensemble Inégal (CZ)
    Jan Dismas Zelenka - Missa Sanctae Caeciliae ZWV 1

    16. 10. 2021 from 10:00 till 17:00 | Prague FREE ENTRY
    Velkopřevorský palác (Grand Prior’s Palace), Velkopřevorské náměstí 4, Malá Strana, Praha 1
    Full program to be announced

    17. 10. 2021 Dresden
    Dresdner Kammerchor (DE), Ensemble Inégal (CZ)
    Jan Dismas Zelenka - Missa Sanctae Caeciliae ZWV 1

    It is my hope that many of you will be able to travel and attend this delicious program, and by doing so showing your support for what has become the most important and enjoyable week of the year! The conference promises also to be interesting, with the focus being on publishing and editing the music of Zelenka in the past, present and future. Contributions from distinguished scholars such as Michael Talbot, Fred Kiernan, Andrew Frampton and Janice B. Stockigt (who will chair the morning session) highlight the great importance of the annual conference for Zelenka research. It is my intention to give a paper on two of Zelenka’s closest working colleagues, the copyists known in the literature as ZS1 & ZS2 (ZS= Zelenka-Schreiber), who worked with the composer from the early 1730s and onwards, and as such were among the first editors of his music. The identity of these two persons has until now been a mystery:cool:, but the time has come to reveal their true names:).

    The Zelenka Festival and Conference needs your support. So book a ticket, and make sure you do your part! I look forward to see you in Prague.

    The Hungarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra, live 13.5.2021

    Jan Dismas Zelenka: c-moll miserere ZWV 57; D-dúr requiem ZWV 46
    Kovács Ágnes (szoprán),
    Balogh Eszter (alt),
    Komáromi Márton (tenor),
    Najbauer Lóránt, Melkovics Zoltán (basszus)
    Magyar Rádió Énekkara és Szimfonikus Zenekar
    Vez.: Vashegyi György

    Recordings of these Masses are urgently needed: ZWV 2 and of course 15. Hopefully Ensemble Inegal will record 4, which they performed in Prague couple of years ago. New recordings of 11 and 13 are needed, too.

    Complete recordings of Sub tuum ZWV 157 and the six Ave Reginas of 128.

    The 1724 Te Deum ZWV 145 and Lamentationes ZWV 54.

    Requiem ZWV 49.

    The six trumpet fanfares ZWV 212.

    The secular motet Qui nihil sortis felicis videt ZWV 211 – one of the most pleasant and joyful Zelenka compositions. And all the antiphons, psalms and hymns…….

    In addition to the above, I think it is necessary for us to hear music composed by some of Zelenka’s colleagues and students, f.e. Buz, Kaÿser, Uhlig, Harrer and Schürer, and also the music of many of the composers he collected in his inventory. This helps us to further appreciate and understand the music heard in the Catholic court church during Zelenka’s tenure and how it influenced his compositions.

    In this context, we also need more recordings of Ristori and Heinichen. After a flurry of 1990s CD releases with the orchestral and sacred music of the latter a long lull followed, but two recent recordings have demonstrated again what a brilliant composer Heinichen was. The first is the CPO release of the opera Flavio Crispo (1720), and the second a Batzdorfer Hofkapelle CD with Italian cantatas and concertos (Accent). Both come highly recommended. The 2018 CPO release of three of Ristori’s sacred works, a Mass, a Miserere and a Litany of Saint Xaver, is a great example of why he was so dearly loved at the Dresden court. The music is beautiful and moving. The Litany dates from the 1720s and comes from the private collection of Maria Josepha; Zelenka must have directed a performance of this (in the early 1730s when Ristori was in Moscow and Warsaw, or/and between 1738 and 1740 when he was in Naples) since his performance markings are found in the leather-bound autograph (D-Dl, Mus.2455-D-1).

    And then there is Breunich who, along with Ristori, succeeded Zelenka as church composer in 1746, but was already in 1741 working alongside the Bohemian in Dresden. Apart from an old 7” with a flute concerto and even older LP with a Te Deum (1739), not a single note has been released on CD of Breunich’s music. Recently, a cache of his sacred works, a part of the SLUB collection taken to Russia in 1945, has been scanned by the Russian National Library and placed online. Perhaps this will result in an increased awareness and much needed performances. The same applies to Zelenka’s teacher, Kapellmeister Johann Christoph Schmidt. What a bummer that so much of his oeuvre is lost. But what I have heard is very very good indeed.

    Yes Seb, another holy moment with the Master. What an incredibly beautiful work this is and with many familiar passages reused in later works. It was well worth the long wait. Glad that Luks and Collegium 1704 did record this, as it links nicely with their epic recording of ZWV 55. The ensemble sounds very good, the tempo is natural and overall it’s a performance of great maturity and elegance.

    As for the circumstances for the request of prince Friedrich August to Zelenka to omit the Miserere in 1722, this has been explained by Jan Stockigt (as I did recount in a Forum entry in 2010):

    "There was a reason for this (as Jan Stockigt has pointed out in her paper about the churchings of Crown Princess Maria Josepha); at the time Maria Josepha was pregnant and probably could not sit still for long. In fact she would have complications and the boy she gave birth to, the wonderful friend of music Friedrich Christian, was born with a congenital physical defect [cerebral palsy]."

    Re the Miserere performed in 1737: I seriously doubt ZWV 56 was the long work heard on that occasion, there’s nothing there for the Italian castrati and trombones were, according to the late Wolfgang Horn, not used in Dresden after 1725. ZWV 57 is composed in 1738. But Zelenka directed not only his own works in the Catholic court church, but also those of others. By the mid-1730s he had several settings of the text in his grand-arsenal, including at least three prepared at exactly that time. The longest might be by Villicus – the score (D-Dl, Mus.2820-D-1) is 67 pages (I have not counted the bars). The score copied by ZS1 is from the mid-1730s, with Zelenka markings and additions. Another setting copied by the same scribe at the time is by Caldara (Mus.2170-E-4); his music was performed often during this period. Another Miserere from Zelenka’s collection that comes to mind is the third setting of "Signor. G:K:", which I have argued is Zelenka’s student and fellow double bass player of the Hofkapelle, Johann Samuel Kaÿser (Giovanni Kaÿser), who worked closely with the Bohemian from 1733 onwards. The score of the third G:K: setting has been dated by ca. 1736-1739 by W.Horn. The settings by Gottlob Harrer and Augustin Uhlig, two other Zelenka students, also date from this period but are shorter I think.

    Finally, while I am thrilled with the great new recording of ZWV 56, my heart sinks when I read the accompanying notes. There’s just so much which is wrong and factually incorrect there, it’s embarrassing. I can not understand why such a brilliant orchestra, which takes such good care of all the smallest details in the music, can present these badly informed texts to its listeners. Anyway, I do hope that someone can open up the eyes of Luks and co. to all the fine studies that have been published in the last 10 years about the life of our composer.

    Lovely recording (modern day premiere?) of this jewel, which Zelenka later reworked into the Salve Regina (ZWV 135). ZWV 204 is still listed as “Doubtful” in the Zelenka work list but as Jan Stockigt states in her database this needs to be reconsidered:


    Listen here:

    Werke von J. de Modena, A. Crotti, A. Jarzębski, A. Grandi, G.F. Händel, A. Vivaldi, J.D. Zelenka
    Johanna Winkel, Sopran
    Ensemble Bassonore - Tabea Höfer, Violine
    Claudius Kamp, Blockflöte, Dulzian
    Adrian Rovatkay, Dulzian, künstlerische Leitung
    Arno Schneider, Orgel
    Dorfkirche, Herzfelde, 15.08.2020

    The Salve Regina starts when 22 mins are remaining of the concert.