I've always found Martinu's music to be strikingly original, and was listening to him years before my interest in Zelenka. From what I learned at the time he was curious and attentive about the music of the past, and sought inspiration from it, just like Zelenka. Martinu's music presents a real challenge for the listener, so this is a good observation paperMoon.
Please let me hear that Mass Elwro! And, every admirer of the Dresden church music should have Peter Köpp's recording of two Naumann Masses (Ars Musici), to hear how the sound evolved in the second half of 18th century Dresden. This is relentless and brilliant music with often familiar patterns and, yes, crafty goosebumpy fugues.
And we shall be able to hear the results soon afterwards – this will be broadcast by MDR Figaro on 18 December, at 19.30:
EBU Christmas Day - Konzert aus Prag
Jan Dismas Zelenka: - Magnificat in C, ZWV 107 - Missa Nativitatis Domini, ZWV 8
Barbora Sojková, Sopran; Sylva Cmugrová, Alt; Jan Ondrejka, Tenor; Tomás Král, Bariton Musica Florea, Leitung: Marek Stryncl (Aufnahme aus der Kirche der Heiligen St. Simon und Juda, Prag).
Later that evening, at 21.30, the Missa Dei Filii will be broadcast, also as a part of the EBU Christmas Day:
Johann Sebastian Bach: - Brandenburgisches Konzert Nr. 1 F-Dur BWV 1046 - Kantate BWV 62 "Nun komm der Heiden Heiland"
Jan Dismas Zelenka: Missa Dei Filii ZWV 20 Collegium Vocale Gent, Freiburger Barockorchester:D , Leitung: Marcus Creed (Aufnahme aus der Stuttgarter Liederhalle)
And the wonderful Missa Nativitatis will also be performed by Robert Hugo's Capella Regia in a proper Christmas Midnight Mass on 24 December in the St. Salvator Church in Prague, starting at 23.55.
Pretty amazing all this Zelenka activity!!
leading up to this weeks concerts with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra – which I am sure you will attend! – can you be on the lookout for a recording, perhaps by ABC? It's a major moment, with the Il Diamante selection and the great Minasi being the guest director – that man is a genius. Hear what he did with the famous Montanari Giga from the Pisendel collection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbu2IUychak
Pisendel's copy can be seen here:
It is simply awesome to know that Zelenka's aria for Venere will performed. It's truly one of the most beautiful arias he wrote.
I am glad to add to the listings above: The mighty Freiburger Barockorchester will be performing Missa Dei Filii in several cities in Europe in December. See: http://www.barockorchester.de/konzerte/kalender/ Given that many of FBO's concerts are broadcast, we are likely to be able to hear it.
And, I've heard that Hengelbrock's Missa Dei Filii concert in Amsterdam will be broadcast live on EPS, the Dutch public broadcaster, likely at http://www.radio4.nl
All these concerts with Zelenka's majestic music – being performed by many of the best orchestras of today – show how far the Zelenka renaissance has come.
But, according to the website Toronto.com when reviewing the Tafelmusik performance above, Zelenka's "music is rarely heard outside of his Czech homeland.", perhaps because "Bach is “glorious” and where Zelenka doesn’t quite make the grade."
This reminds me of a review in one of the papers here for a concert in Reykjavik, where one of Zelenka's Trio Sonatas was being played alongside a Bach piece: The difference was that of a Czech Skoda and a Mercedes Benz!
Great stuff. Many thanks for sharing. Good concert and good recording: I do admire your enthusiasm (and bravery!).
To add to the Canadian performance (and the one in Devon on 1 October), Missa Votiva is being premiered in Asia, according to the website of the National Theater Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan:
"A collaborated effort between the East and the West, The Night of the Baroque Choral Music will be presented by the Taipei Male Choir, the recent Golden Award winner of the German Harmonie Festival along with Frauen des Dresdener Kammerchores, led by the remarkable German conductor Hans-Christoph Rademann, as well as Dresdner Barockorchester, which will accompany the performance with 17 Baroque period instruments. Programs include German composer Johann Georg Pisendel's Sonata in c Minor, a vivid representation of the delicate Dresden royal court atmosphere, and Czeck composer Jan Dismas Zelenka's Missa Votiva e-Moll ZWV18, a jewel of the Dresden royal court which is finally making its premiere in Asia."
This amazing concert will take place on 14 October.
On return to Saxony, the Dresdner Barockorchester will perform Missa Dei Filii twice, in Freiburg and Dresden on 10 and 11 December.
And Thomas Hengelbrock and Balthasar Neumann Ensemble will also be performing Missa Dei Filii on their anniversary tour:
Zelenka: Missa Dei Filii; Bach: Magnificat
Balthasar-Neumann-Chor und -Ensemble
Leitung: Thomas Hengelbrock
24.11. Freiburg, Johanneskirche
25.11. Düsseldorf, Tonhalle
26.11. Neumarkt, Reitstadel
28.11. Berlin, Konzerthaus
29.11. Lissabon, Gulbenkian Foundation
01.12. Ludwigsburg, Forum more
02.12. Dortmund, Konzerthaus
03.12. Amsterdam, Concertgebouw
04.12. Zürich, Tonhalle
hopefully this will be recorded by CBC. Can you keep an eye out for this please?
two major concerts by Vaclav Luks and Collegium 1704 will be broadcast online as follows:
Wednesday 14 September, 14:00 (local time): Zelenka's majestic Te Deum ZWV 146, plus a Cantata and a Suite by Bach. Recording from the Festival de la Chaise Deu, 20 August 2011.
Friday 7 October, 20:00 (local time): Zelenka's Hipocondrie, Barbara dira effera!, and Laetatus sum. Also one Handel Cantata and Concerto Grosso. Recording from an upcoming concert in Hamburg, 23 September 2011.
Adam Viktora, Gabriela Eibenová and Ensemble Inégale played a well received concert at the Lufthansa Festival in London last month. Fortunately it was recorded and will be broadcast on BBC3 on Sunday 5th June at 13:00 UK time. Two Zelenka works, plus Brentner and old Bach:
Zelenka Alma redepmptoris mater
Brentner Concerto No.4 in G major (from Horae pomeridianae)
Zelenka Salve regina
Bach Cantata 'Ich habe genug', BWV82
Brentner Concerto No.1 in G minor (from Horae pomeridianae)
Ensemble Inégale will perform Missa Omnium Sanctorum and Barbara dira effera in Prague 28 June, in preparation for the upcoming recording.
More Zelenka concerts to look out for: I've already mentioned the Berlin Potsdam Festival where Ristori's Calandro is being performed. The festival is dedicated to Dresden and the program is really exciting, see:
http://www.musikfestspiele-potsdam.de/ The fantastic bassoonist Sergio Azzolini and L'Aura Soave Cremona will play ZWV 186, Fasch and Telemann. This should be a great concert. The orchestra is boiling hot these days and last year's recording with the Vivaldi Bassoon Concertos on Naive must count as one of the most amazing baroque releases ever. Hopefully this, and other concerts will be broadcast through Deutschlandradio – http://www.dradio.de, or http://www.kulturradio.de On 17 June, the excellent Ricercar Consort (their Bach recordings on the Mirare label are a revelation) will perform parts of ZWV 16, plus Lotti, Palestrina and Bach's 1733 Kyrie and Gloria. The next day Vaclav Luks and Collegium 1704 play the third Trio Sonata of Zelenka plus works by Reichenauer, Tuma and Stölzel etc.
Luks and his colleagues are busy as ever promoting our composer; on 4 June they play a Zelenka/Handel program at the Handel Festspiele in Halle, and more Zelenka is lined up for the summer: http://www.collegium1704.com/en/calendar.html – I am looking forward to see them in a Monteverdi/Schütz program in Prague next week.
Another concert worth checking out has one of our favourite Zelenka interpreters, H.C. Rademann, conducting Akademie f. Alte Musik Berlin and the Dresdner Kammerchor, in a program of Bach, Hasse, and Zelenka's Lamentation no. 1, at the Bachfest Leipzig. Live on http://www.dradio.de/dkultur/ on 14 June, 20:00 German time.
Thanks SK, for the sharing the link to Mengelberg's important book, and the post about Ristori. This calls for a short update on this front:
While the vast majority of Ristori's sacred works are lost from Dresden, the good news is that some copies have been turning up in Poland, and especially in the Czech Republic, where a number of Masses exist.
Recently, scans of many of his secular works, operas, arias, cantatas and serenatas have been put online in the SLUB website for all to see and admire.
In June, his Calandro will be performed in Berlin, see: http://www.musikfestspiele-potsdam.de/
A reminder that the new recording of the Divoti Affetti sacred duets, is now out on Accent as earlier announced here in the Forum.
Last November I gave a paper about Ristori's remarkable time in Naples 1738-40, at the Pergolesi conference in Dresden. The proceedings will be published next year. It has now become clear that at the time, Ristori played an important role in the transmission of Neopolitan baroque music North of the Alps. For more on this fascinating topic, which surely should be of interest to Zelenka fans, I can recommend Claudio Bacciagaluppi's fantastic book on the Neopolitan Masses in Europe. It has a great chapter on the Naples sources found in Dresden, including the copies in Zelenka's collection, and also what Claudio calls "Ristoris Sammlung":
Claudio Bacciagaluppi, Rom, Prag, Dresden: Pergolesi und die Neapolitanische Messe in Europa, Kassel, Bärenreiter, 2010 (Schweizer Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft, 14).
Thanks Alistair, this is of course absolutely terrific news which will get the champagne flowing my quarters! The mighty Ensemble Inégal to tackle the last Mass is a mouthwatering thought. The Bernius CD is a great inspired recording which is hard to fault, but Adam and his fantastic group are so burning hot these days it promises to be something extraordinary.
And finally we will get to hear that Barbara dira effera, which someone described as a "rage aria for the church", when Musica Antiqua Köln (MAK, RIP) performed it on their farewell tour in the US in 2006. Ever since reading Jan Stockigt's stark criticism of this work in her book, I've been dying to hear it. The leader of MAK, Reinhard Goebel, felt the same; in his opening remarks for the Pisendel conference in Dresden in 2005, he talked about Jan's book (lavishing praise on it) and how her description of Barbara dira effera made him very curious to check it out, which resulted in that he felt compelled to perform it with his band.
The Icelandic Zelenka renaissance keeps gathering pace: Missa Votiva ZWV 18 is to be performed in Fella- og Hólakirkja, Reykjavik, not only once, but twice in the next couple of weeks! The brave choir is Söngsveitin Fílharmónía, directed by Magnús Ragnarsson, plus the baroque group Bachsveitin í Skálholti and team of good icelandic singers. The dates are 20 and 23 March, and I'll see you there...
there is a treasure trove of the correspondence of August the Strong here in the State Archive. It's all on microfilm and I've had a field day reading this for the last few weeks. He was absolutely brilliant that man. Much less exists from his son, unfortunately. But what exactly are you looking for, and do you have a specific topic etc. Please let me know by private message and I can try to guide you in the existing literature.
Thanks Derek for this good news. I've been so lucky to have had a copy of this for more than a year, but frankly, I was getting worried it wouldn't be released so I am relieved to hear it's out. Bravo Accent! It's a great recording of the beautiful Divoti Affetti duets, with Mields and Vitzthum in fine form, but unfortunately the whole set wasn't recorded, only seven out of ten. Includes also fine arrangements of Ristori's Esercizi, which is a rare set of Dresden teaching materials. Ristori was, like I've been finding out here in Dresden during the last few years, one of the teachers of the royal family. So this is a very welcome release and warmly recommended.
Now it is only to be wished that someone does a complete recording of Caldara's Motetti, which is written for the same setting, plus Bass, because Ristori was influenced by these works. Few days ago, I saw Ristori's copy of these motets here in the SLUB.
And you are right, the New Olde site is good for keeping up with the new releases and to read the rants about Spinosi's versions of the Vivaldi operas! Another one I use often for reference is:
I can recommend Platti as well, I think he is a fine composer and there are a number of very good recordings out there, f.e. the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin on HM with the virtuosic Cello Concerto, and Epoca Barocca on CPO. As I wrote earlier to Andrew, there is a Dresden link: We don't know if Platti knew Zelenka's music but it could have been the other way around. Pisendel did have a couple of Platti works in his huge collection, and his keyboard music was copied out in 1746 by keyboard player and composer Peter August, who likely was Zelenka's student.
Great story about how Platti's portrait survived. As for frescos here in Dresden, sadly there is nothing left, but the Zwinger ceilings were once richly painted – by court painter Fehling ca. 1717. And yes, there was a musical theme in at least one of them, with the puttis singing, and the gamba, violin and the lute being played, as you can see here in some magnificent pictures: http://www.bildindex.de – and put Musizierende Genien in the search. I think this was the ceiling of the Marmorsaal of the French Pavilion, where some of the concerts took place at that time, that is, the salon next to the Nymphenbad.
The ZWV 126 recording is the Czech Radio Christmas broadcast from the Prague Mirror Chapel in 2008, and performed by alto Kamily Sevcikove and Collegium Marianum.
Thanks Joseba. I would like to mention that Shelley Hogan, an Australian double bass player, is about to finish her PhD at the University of Melbourne (where one of her supervisors is Jan Stockigt). Her research theme is the bass ripieno section of the Dresden orchestra. She has studied a lot of sources and found unknown archival material in Dresden for her thesis, so let's hope it will be published and further light can be shed on this subject.
More on this note: Jan Stockigt has suggested that Zelenka could also have played the theorbo as the fingering patterns are practically the same to the viol family. She introduced this idea during the "Schrank II" conference in Dresden last June. Her excellent paper dealt with the Dresden sources of Zelenka's instrumental music (excluding the Trio Sonatas). The proceedings of the conference should be published shortly. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for reminding us – it's indeed a very nice Zelenka piece. Thanks also to Peter, who brought this to our attention two years ago!
As usual I said a toast to our Zelenka, and also to the musicians who will tonight perform Trio Sonatas Nr. 1 & 6 here in the Reykjavik Chamber Music Club!