Posts by Xanaseb

    Agreed! Great find. This was lovely to listen to, and their other recordings look interesting, too. They seem to be focussing on the Neapolitan late baroque. Someone should, indeed...


    Yes, very much agreed! Thanks for sharing. Orliński packs a punch. Zelenka's more galante style is conveyed with great energy and lightness by Il Pomo D'oro (The Tomato! :cool:)



    Please check out this newest performance by the Czech ensemble, of the *other* Miserere, ZWV56 in D minor from 1722 (not the famous ZWV57 in C minor from 1738). They did a fantastic job.

    This piece was written for Lenten Holy Week sacred music, finishing Matins in the afternoon (as it was customarily held in Dresden).
    From Dr. Janice Stockigt's book:

    '...Zelenka set Ps. 50(51), Miserere (ZWV56), an extended work comprising several polyphonic movements, including retrograde canons for the setting of verse 15, 'Docebo. . . convertentur (titled 'Versetto circolare'). This movement was later retexted and published at the conclusion of the fourth lesson of Telemann's fortnightly journal Der getreue Musicmeister (...began in 1728) as 'Canon mit 14 Verkehrungen' (ZWV179 [Cantate Domino]).' - pg. 113.

    The polyphony is interesting indeed, but there's plenty of other good stuff in it too. The opening is probably my favourite. Note that the second, ostinato, movement is the same composition as the Christe Eleison from ZWV26, recorded last year by Collegium 1704 in 'Missa 1724'.

    Dr. Stockigt also cites how the piece was received (or almost received) by the Catholic Royal Court in Dresden in 1722, quoting from the Jesuit Diarium:

    "[Wednesday in Holy Week, 1 April] At about 3.30pm. Matins, Lamentations and Responses, Benedictus and finally, the Miserere, composed by Zelenka. The Prince and Princess were present throughout Matins. However, as the composed works were too long, the Prince had someone persuade Zelenka to shorten the singing. As a result the Miserere was omitted , and on subsequent days it was read in the usual manner." - pg. 87.

    Poor Mr. Zelenka! He should have seen it coming, though :D

    Then in 1737 this note is made by the Jesuits:
    "8 Apr. At four o'clock, a very long Miserere was produced by Zelenka." - pg. 219.
    Presumably, therefore, he got it out there in the end, unless they're referring to the other famous one, perhaps performed the year previous to the dating.

    Enjoy listening, thanks to Collegium 1704.


    You beat me to it, Msl!
    This was a fantastic performance, and so interesting to hear it sung just by 8 soloists. It creates a very different dynamic.

    Hello all,

    We've come to an amazing point now where the majority of Zelenka's works have been performed and recorded, including almost all of his truly 'great' compositions. How grateful we should be for this bountiful flourish of music over the past 10-15 years or so.

    But there are some more lurking around.

    Here's my bucket list. I wonder if you'd concur and if you have any which I may have missed which you much desire to be recorded, either for the first time or again in a better/improved way?

    [Pasted from this thread on new ZWV 3 video]
    1. I haven't personally heard any recordings of Zelenka's 'other' Miserere, ZWV 56, though I know it's come up in some performances over the years (please let me know if you have a recording of this!).
    2. Missa Eucharistica ZWV 15 would be well worth listening to, even though it's a bit truncated.
    3. I'd much love to hear like his 'a capella' Litaniae Lauretanae ZWV 150 for the pilgrimage to the Marian shrine at Graupen (Krupka) in 1725. This is a simple work which any ensemble should be able to pull off with ease (I would love my own choirmaster to give it a go)
    4. The other half of the Sub Tuum Praesidium ZWV 157 would be great to hear.
    5. Then there's the series of late 1720s Masses, glorious belters that could do with fresher recordings, especially Missa Circumcisionis ZWV 11 & Missa Gratias Agimus Tibi ZWV 13.

    All the best,

    Seb :cool:

    This literally brought tears to my eyes. For years I so much wanted this to be performed...

    I think that now we have no known 'top tier' Zelenka work without a first-class recording!

    I think we can name a few:
    I haven't personally heard any recordings of Zelenka's 'other' Miserere, ZWV 56, though I know it's come up in some performances over the years.
    Also, Missa Eucharistica ZWV 15 would be well worth listening to, even though it's a bit truncated.
    Then there are a few special ones I'd much love to hear like his 'a capella' Litaniae Lauretanae ZWV 150 for the pilgrimage to the Marian shrine at Graupen (Krupka) in 1725. This is a simple work which any ensemble should be able to pull off with ease (I would love my own choirmaster to give it a go)
    Also the other half of the Sub Tuum Praesidium ZWV 157 would be great to hear.
    Then there's the series of late 1720s Masses, glorious belters that could do with fresher recordings, especially Missa Circumcisionis ZWV 11 & Missa Gratias Agimus Tibi ZWV 13.

    Edit: See this thread where I ask what would be on your Zelenka recording request list

    Wow that was great, many gems throughout.

    The opening Kyrie takes multiple listens to appreciate its interwoven and variating texture and is very positive & uplifting.
    The Credo highlight was the 4 basses sing the Crucifixus, but other great stuff in there too.
    The Benedictus Bass solo is magnificent.
    I was personally most ecstatic to hear the Gregorian-chant-inspired Agnus Dei which I've been wishing to see an ensemble tackle. They all must have had a LOT of stamina to pull that one off.

    Hello everyone,

    A little while back now Dr. Jiří Kroupa collated various papers from the Prague Zelenka Conferences 2017-2019:

    Here is the list of articles:

    DRISCOLL, Michael: Zelenka's arrangements of Dixit Dominus settings by other composers

    KAPSA, Václav: The place of Jan Dismas Zelenka within Prague's sacred music scene as viewed through the inventory of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star

    KIERNAN, Frederic: Wolfgang Horn and Zelenka

    ÓSKARSSON, Kjartan: Zelenka and chalumeau

    SANYAL, Sebastian: The Zelenka family in Louňovice: Some findings from local history and parish registers

    STOCKIGT, Janice B.: The genesis and evolution of Missa Sanctae Caeciliae (ZWV 1), Jan Dismas Zelenka

    VOKŘÍNEK, Lukáš: Kmotrovství v rodině kantora a varhaníka Jiříka Zelenky Bavorovského [Godparenthood in the family of the schoolmaster and organist Jiřík Zelenka Bavorovský]

    These are well worth reading, enjoy!

    There is also an article by Jóhannes Ágústsson in Clavibus Unitis 2020, on the diaries of Crown Prince Friedrich Christian.

    Best wishes,


    That was a sublime, top-class performance. Each showed a different facet to the jewel of 18thC sacred music. These three composers were absolute masters of that field, the music clearly shows.

    Again Zelenka surprises with this Credo! The sudden breakdown at 'at homo factus est', an extended and interesting 'crucifixus' and a jaw-dropping highly chromatic 'amen' fugue to finish, in keeping with those of his Vespers, indeed.

    Also, judging by these performances Caldara needs more attention by the musical world, thats for sure.

    Thanks djdresden!


    Ensemble Inégal are performing Zelenka's 1718 Litanie di Virgine Maria (ZWV 149) and Missa Sancti Spiritus (ZWV4) in Kostel U Salvátora, Prague. Details here:…el-u-salvatora-praha-2020

    Here it is revealed that the world premiere piece is ZWV 149

    You can see the autograph manuscript score for ZWV 149 here: or here on imslp for easier viewing

    Exciting to see a 'new' Zelenka piece being performed. Plus, the wonderful Missa Sancti Spiritus, which is truly magnificent and I hope will be recorded for CD some day (it was performed at Zelenka festival 2018 and it knocked my socks off).


    I don't have any critical comments, but it looks like great work Elwro. A nice potential piece to perform, perhaps at the start of a 'Vespers' programme? Is that the context in which it is found, or is it for a Lutheran service? Where can the original document source be found?

    Gottlob Harrer deserves more recognition and recordings, which are scant.

    7. Pavel JURÁK: 'Nicola Porpora v Inventáriu Jana Dismase Zelenky' Eng. trans: 'Nicola Porpora in Jan Dismas Zelenka's Inventarium

    The discovery that Jan Dismas Zelenka had in his Inventarium compositions by Nicola Porpora, i.e., Dixit Dominus in C major, Laudate Pueri in B major and Magnificat in A minor, was a by-result of the bachelor thesis „J. D. Zelenka’s Magnificats in the context of contemporary compositions“. The paper demonstrates how three compositions in the Inventarium of Jan Dismas Zelenka, which were regarded as works of an anonymous composer, were by Nicola Porpora. These compositions were transcribed by Carl von Winterfeld (1784-1852) during his journey to Italy in 1812. The study of the oldest known surviving manuscript of the composition Magnificat in A minor by Nicola Porpora, copied by Josef Antonín Sehling (1710-1756), was an important step in making this identification. The analysis showed that Sehling arranged this work for the use of the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. And this is why the search for the original version of the Porpora’s composition had to continue and finally ended at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin where the manuscript „Composizioni sacre di Nicolo Porpora“ of Carl von Winterfeld is preserved today. The author also considered the possibility that several other works from the Inventarium could be composed by Nicola Porpora. Furthermore, he deals with the question whether Jan Dismas Zelenka and Nicola Porpora knew each other and where they could meet.

    Jurák presented research from his bachelor's thesis which is about Zelenka's Magnificat settings in the context of contemporary compositions. The paper was an interesting topic with an interesting methodology. He argues that the great composer Nicola Porpora can be identified in three 'anonymous' pieces in the Inventarium. Designations by Zelenka as 'Po: N:' + 'Po:' could be referring to Porpora. And, also he speculates a Salve Regina with 'N: N:' + 'N:' could be, likewise.
    I can't quite remember now how Jurák backed these claims, but I think it partly was by comparison with the key signatures noted by Zelenka and the key signatures of the known pieces. He showed that RISM has a number of mistakes in it which has meant that the attributions to Porpora were made difficult amongst Zelenka's collection. He finished the presentation with a comparison between Zelenka and the Magnificats of Fux and Charpentier.

    8. Frederic KIERNAN: 'Wolfgang Horn and Zelenka'

    This paper uses the late Wolfgang Horn’s own reflections on his relationship with Zelenka as a lens through which to consider broader questions about the nature of Zelenka’s music, its reception history, and music historiography. Based on an interview conducted with Horn during the Zelenka Festival in Prague, October 2017, this paper considers Horn’s legacy as a driver of, and witness to, the rise of Zelenka studies in the 1980s, and the impact of this German scholar on our understanding of Zelenka today.

    This was a very fitting and loving tribute to Prof. Wolfgang Horn (†7 May 2019) which drew upon an interview which Fred Kiernan made with Horn in 2017. Here is the full paper as published in Clavibus Unitis 2019, which is well worth a read. It demonstrates Horn's nuanced and revealing perspectives of the culture of Zelenka within musicology.


    Final comment: the conference was great (also generating a heated discussion afterwards!) and continues the streak of wonderful festivals and conferences in the glorious city of Prague. Here's to more in the future.


    5. Andrew FRAMPTON:'Hidden in plain sight: Parody and Reworking in the Sacred Vocal Music of Jan Dismas Zelenka'

    A hitherto neglected area in the study of Zelenka’s compositional practice has been his use of musical borrowing and parody – that is, the repurposing of existing music for a new work. In contrast to the sacred vocal works of Johann Sebastian Bach, which exhibit the frequent reuse of music drawn from occasional (usually secular) pieces, there are relatively few works by Zelenka that have been separately transmitted in different versions. However, a forensic examination of the manuscript sources reveals that Zelenka did in fact employ a variety of borrowing and reworking techniques, including parody of his own compositions, in a more regular and sophisticated manner than has been previously recognised.

    This paper presents some preliminary findings from a new, ongoing research project investigating Zelenka’s working methods in his autograph scores. Through a close analysis of specific examples, with a particular focus on the masses, I seek to classify the various types of reworkings visible in his manuscripts, and offer suggestions about likely parody models. Are there systematic patterns that can be observed in Zelenka’s methods of recycling musical material? I also discuss the possible implications of these findings for the reconstruction of incomplete or lost works, and for what should be considered a ‘version’ in the context of cataloguing.

    Frampton started off by stating that there needs to be more work done on 'large-scale processes' in Zelenka's autographs - like those done by musicologists on J.S.Bach. One of the questions he asked: was Zelenka 'equally economical' with his Sacred Music?
    Frampton identified various 'types' of parody in Zelenka's sacred music:
    Type 1: Using music & reworking to make an entirely different version. Example: Christe Eleison, alto solo in ZWV21 Missa OO.SS. is reworked for 'Patre de coelis Deus' in Litaniae Lauretanae Consolatrix Afflictorum ZWV151. Process: Erasures & alterations
    Type 2: Inserting small models and sections from other works. Reintegrating them so that it seems flawless. Example: ZWV1 Missa Sanctae Caeciliae & ZWV59 Attendite et Videte. The 'crucifixus' as a 4-part choral part and 'Si est dolor' in ZWV59 as a solo recitative.
    Type 3: What Frampton calls the "Hidden Parody", a parody from a setting that's completely unknown, but the evidence points to it. Example: ZWV4 Missa Sancti Spiritus, where the source material hints at there being another source.
    There was also another type which is where a piece is repurposed, such as the ZWV50 De Profundis which was firstly used at his father's Requiem exequies and then repurposed for the Vespers cycle with the change from 'Requiem in eternam' -> 'Gloria Patri - Et in secula'.

    Andrew Frampton made a great case for the value of further studies into the 'systematic patterns' of Zelenka's compositions.

    6. Shelly HOGAN:'A Reconstruction of Zelenka’s Early Membership in the Dresden Hofkapelle (read by Samantha Owens because she was unable to attend)

    Bohemian composer Jan Dismas Zelenka was an important figure in the musical life at the royal court in Dresden during the first half of the eighteenth century. While the court lists his initial engagement as a contrabassist, Zelenka’s later activities at court were principally as a church composer and indeed his sacred works contributed to the music of the Catholic court chapel from the earliest years of his association. He would serve the court for more than three decades from his 1710/1711 arrival to his death in December 1745. Modern scholarly interest centres on Zelenka’s compositional activities while understanding of Zelenka’s earlier years remains substantially incomplete. An important exception is the recent confirmation by Janice B. Stockigt and Jóhannes Ágústsson of Zelenka’s training and career prior to arriving in Dresden—previously the subject of scholarly speculation. This paper examines one further aspect of Zelenka’s early Dresden career: how he contributed as a contrabassist of the Hofkapelle during his first decade of service. This decade saw significant change in the bass section and orchestra as a whole, through a move away from engaging multi-instrumentalists to those specialising on a single instrument, the arrival of a new wave of internationally trained personnel, and transition to new instrument types. Archival sources of the Dresden court record many details of individual employment, and change to the Hofkapelle‘s size and administration from its re-establishment in 1709. Drawing on analysis of these primary sources, this paper argues a reconstruction of the careers of Zelenka’s colleagues in the bass section provides substantial evidence to establish Zelenka’s own role and instrument type. The paper concludes that Zelenka’s activities as a contrabassist in Dresden should be viewed as a key part of a larger plan by the court to transform its orchestra that met the preconditions for the Classicism that followed.

    This paper has been adapted and made into an article for Musicology Australia 2020. It was a very interesting and thorough study. I have just one little detail to point out: Hogan argues that Zelenka's instrument is probably not the 8 foot (but the 12 foot), because the music played needed to be 'doubling the bass at the octave below', and the musicians are normally referred to as Contre Basse during the above-mentioned period.