Posts by Xanaseb

    In the past year Saed Haddad, a contemporary composer from Jordan put together a musical-theatrical programme which includes a staged performance of Il Serpente di Bronzo ZWV 61. He chose it to complement his new composition which is about the Arab Spring.

    Here's two articles about this interesting project:…en-satt-hat-15459792.html

    Here is Haddad's website:

    The tour with Ensemble Modern has already finished, but there is a concert version still to come in April.


    Check this out:

    This second set of 3 Lamentations are straightforward continuo arrangements Zelenka wrote to accompany the plainchant melody common at the time.

    Simple but serene. Quite effective how the ensemble vary their accompaniment. Král also sprinkles some ornamentation.

    Here's a sample of the published edition from 1999 with an extensive introduction from Thomas Kohlhase…n/40/4076300/4076300x.pdf

    Turns out it's quite an important work to help understand contemporary Dresden plainchant practice.

    Kohlhase refers to a 1904 recording of Moreschi, famously the last castrato. Here it is on YT:

    This was quite mind-blowing to hear, even as a midi. A case of 'I can't believe it's not Zelenka'! Very exciting :cool:
    I'm going to guess it was one of his students, colleagues or successors, let's say... Schürer? Though, a quick look at his style in Masses on SLUB say that I'm aiming too late in time period.

    I have nothing in terms of the Sacred to suggest, but I do think Zelenka's instrumental music might have rubbed off on others, particularly the Trio Sonatas. You can hear this in some J.J Quantz oboe-bassoon pieces, and being a student of Zelenka makes this link more possible. Here's a recent CD promo for 'Dresda 1720' by Ensemble Zefiro, and you can hear a clip of one of these Quantz sonatas towards the end. Even the Fasch piece at the start of this video has some resonances with Zelenka to my ears... Then there are the Sonatas á Quattro by Califano (a prominent cellist at the Court who would have been in contact with Zelenka from the 1730s) which give some impression of Zelenka's sonatas occasionally. For eg.) this performance, amongst a few others available on YT, by the San Souci Ensemble. Dresden seemed to be the hub for this wind ensemble and 'Bassoon obbligato quartet' (see pg. 110 of J. Stockigt's book, referencing Stephen Zohn). But, perhaps it is difficult to disentangle the influences within this distinctive Dresden wind-ensemble style, especially if the dating for Zelenka's own sonatas isn't completely certain yet! Djdresden may want to chip in here, as I know he has some very interesting opinions on this topic... ;)

    Also, someone on YouTube once compared Buffardin's Concerto á 5 in E minor (whose composition date I can't find anywhere...) with the Kyrie of Missa Votiva ZWV18, but I can only slighlty hear it. Here it is performed by Musica Antiqua Köln. And here is a manuscript on imslp

    This looks like fun:

    I can't say I kept a straight face... :D

    PS. Might I just remind you that the ZWV 212 6 fanfares have been confirmed as a composition by Zelenka, with a dramatic story telling his involvement in legal case surrounding an incident between the hoftrumpeters about authority and signalling (ending in the dismissal of the Oberhoftrumpeter!), which you can read here, pages 27-29: . I recommend that you read the rest of this most up-to-date publication on Zelenka biography and history

    Relevant quote from p 29:
    '...the journal of the churching ceremony recorded that the
    fanfares heard were newly composed by Zelenka: ‘Auch waren zweÿ Chöre von Trompeten und
    Paucken formiret, und eine ganz neue componirte Musique von den Hr. Zelenka aufgeführet.’
    After examing the evidence presented here it is proposed that the 6 Marcie per la Cavalleria
    (ZWV 212, now listed as ‘Sechs Trompeterfanfaren bzw. Reitermärche’ among the ‘Lost, Doubtful,
    and Falsely Attributed Works’ in the Zelenka literature) should be moved into the canon
    of authentic works by the composer, under the title most likely found on a now lost cover.'

    Some of you may recall this fascinating forum thread discussing the chronogram which Zelenka attached to Vide Domine ZWV 179 when he presented it to Telemann in 1728:"Is this a riddle?"

    One of the main contributors to this was Alex Went. I've just come across an article 2016 in the Prague College CRIS (Centre for Research in Interdisciplinary Studies) bulletin, in which he expands upon his theory and does some great research into chronogram culture.…6-0002/cris-2016-0002.pdf

    What becomes apparent is that Zelenka a.) was an expert practitioner of this highly tricky and somewhat arcane craft b.) may owe it to the chronogram-mad culture which was especially prevalent in his homeland of Bohemia during his lifetime.

    It's more and more clear that our composer was broad in his intellectual abilities and interests. Surely, this was nurtured by an intellectual family background and a good education. I wish we could discover exactly where that was and what it involved (given that there is still no actual evidence of it being at the Jesuit colleges of Prague).

    Like the chronograms themselves, Zelenka's life-story is like an intricate puzzle to be worked out, and to the intellectual enjoyment of the inquirer.


    3rd October:

    Collegium Marianum - Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae (ZWV53, 1722-3) - Kostel Panny Marie pod retezem

    Marián Krejčík (bass), Markéta Cukrová (alto/mezzo-soprano) and Virgil Hartinger (tenor/baritone) sung these to a high level. Hartinger, despite slipping up in his first tenor lamentation (no.III), used his experience as Evangelist in J.S Bach’s Passions to sing the recitatives engagingly. He delivered the melismas with a solid sustained breath and with some emotion. I'm looking forward to hear him sing in Ensemble Inégal's Psalmi Vespertini III recording, which should be out just in time for Christmas, the shop owner tells me (if you visit Prague you can meet him at his shop which near the top of ul.Loretánská). Cukrová's lamentations were very fresh sounding to the ear, because normally of course these lamentations are sung by a male alto. Her velvety voice worked fine, particularly in the final 6th. Krejčík's performance was also admirable.

    Seeing the Lamentations live certainly made me visually realise how much Zelenka varies the set. Particularly striking was when all oboes, strings and basso continuo section went off to leave just the two cellos and two flutes for the 4th Lamentation. That instantly made the performance intimate and gripping. A special cheer was given at the end to the two cellists Petr Hamouz and Petr Mašlaň, who excelled in their duet part. The oboe solos were played throughout with lyricism and clarity by Luise Haugk. Recognition also needs to go to the chalumeau player Igor Františák who played this baroque instrument, a precursor to the clarinet, with evident pride and finesse. Collegium Marianum, under the passionate musicianship and conducting of Jana Semeradová, showed in their live performance how vivid and colourful their interpretation of ZWV 53 is.

    Collegium 1704 - Missa Omnium Sanctorum ZWV21 & Bach Missa in g minor
    BWV 235 - Rudolfinum

    This was not a part of the festival, and unfortunately clashed with the Lamentations concert, meaning that I did not see it myself, but I heard from those who did. By all accounts, it was highly successful, with a packed audience (in the Rudolfinum!), with standing ovations. One person told me, with some pleasure, that after hearing both pieces side by side, the Bach "didn't stand a chance", and the programme was really quite unfair to him (;)). Another said that actually, they preferred Viktora's more energetic interpretation of ZWV21. Coll.1704 had performed this concert in Dresden only the day before.

    4th October:

    Musica Aeterna - Secular Vocal aria collection II - Rytirsky sal Velkoprevorskeho Palace (
    their title: Árie, kantáty a duety z hudební sbírky Jana Dismase Zelenky a saské korunní princezny Marie Antonie (Arias, Cantatas and duets from JDZ's musical collection for Sazon Crown Princess Maria Antonia)This was the perfect follow up to last year's Festival concert, and arguably was even more amazing. Again, the soloists were Gabriela Eibenová and Lenka Cafourková with the Slovakian baroque music ensemble led by Petr Zajicek. And yet again, they blew me away. The programme was straight out of Zelenka's 1730 collection of secular arias, which were unearthed and catalogued by djdresden (see 'Secular Vocal collection). They are as follows*:

    Giovanni Porta Sinfonia
    1675 - 1755
    Geminiano Giacomelli 'Stando accanto' (Solo, Caf)
    1692 – 1740
    Georg Friedrich Händel 'Empia sorte con la morte' (Solo, Eib) *world premiere performance of Händel cantata* (?)
    1685 - 1759
    Giuseppe Porsile Sinfonia in D
    1680 - 1750
    Leonardo Vinci 'Se mai turbo il tuo riposo' (Duet)
    1690 - 1730
    Giuseppe Sellitto 'Deh t´accheta e non negarmi' (Duet)
    1700 - 1777
    Johann Adolf Hasse 'Non mi chiamar crudele' (Solo, Caf)
    1699 - 1783 Sinfonia á 4, op. 5
    Nicola Porpora Se viver non possio (Duet)
    1686 - 1768

    A great selection of pieces, Special mention for the Handel cantata, from his period in Italy. It turns out that Zelenka's copy is, most probably, the only extant copy of this work in existence! It was a very nice piece, split into three sections, an Adagio with an intense melody and descending bassline figure, followed by a Recitative and a blistering Allegro.. You can find the score here on SLUB.
    Sellitto's duet was also a stand out from the set, and received an excited encore performance. He is the youngest of the composers featured, but by no means the least in quality.

    6th October

    Ensemble Inégal & Dresdner Kammerchor -
    Gaude Laetare (ZWV168, 1730), Missa Corporis Domini(ci) ZWV9, Da Pacem Domine (ZWV167 c.1740)

    The closing concert was the crowning gem, with its Czech premiere performance of ZWV9, and a surprise inclusion of ZWV 167.
    The virtuosic tenor motet Gaude Laetare (which you can hear on the first track of Inégal's Missae Sanctissimae Trinitatis recording) was sung by Tobias Hunger, who did admirably for a piece full of lightning quick coloratura and arpeggiation for the full tenor range. Missa Corporis Domini(ci - the "ci" is how Zelenka labels it in his Inventarium) was both a majestic and a flitting Mass, full of contrasts. At times, stately and confident (as in the Kyrie and Cum Sancto Spiritu), but at other points reflective and poignant (as in the Qui Tollis, with an oboe solo by Markus Müller, and the Agnus Dei II sung by alto Kamila Mazalová accompanied by tender violin by concert-master Lenka Torgersen). For me the two most gripping sections were the Gloria, and the Credo. Which required precise musicianship of the ensemble and choir - and they delivered. Dresdner Kammerchor did well throughout this concert, achieving a well-blended sound and tackling some tricky chromatic counterpoint in the Dona nobis pacem double-fugue, which came back as an encore at the end.

    Da Pacem Domine was a surprise for most of the audience, including me. Adam Viktora cleverly allowed the anticipation to build up to it by waiting a bit longer than usual. It couldn’t be more different from the Mass, with long graceful vocal lines and pulsing strings in the same style as Zelenka’s famous late Masses. This was quite heavenly, but also feverish and invigorating. There was some discussion afterwards, however, as to how we should interpret the source for ZWV 167 - what was its design in the Dresden Catholic Court Church? was it fully composed by Zelenka? In amongst such a messy manuscript score, can we really achieve an authentic performable version, as Zelenka would have intended? These points are very open to discussion, but the interesting news is that we will get to hear it on disk because Ensemble Inégal have recorded it along with the Psalmi Vespertini III.

    All in all, a terrific week of music. I hope the festival will continue to deliver (and exceed) such a standard.

    *I'm not sure if the soloists here are correct, because I'm stretching my memory

    Dear all,

    I hope you will forgive my silence so far on this. It has now been well over a month since the 4th annual Zelenka Festival & Concert Prague. It was a very successful week, with a lot of energy, fantastic music, events and exciting discussions. I invite those who came to share their experiences and thoughts here as well. I will post another thread for the Conference (because it deserves a separate one!)

    I was very fortunate to have been invited to write a review which was translated and published on the 25th October in the Czech newspaper 'Lidové Noviny' (they had to wait for the Czech Election news to die down!). Here is the article on 'Press Reader', and I have also attached an image of the printed copy to this post.

    I will modify the review for my report in English below!


    - - - - -

    Hi Cabano, generally just sharing it for those who may find it useful/interesting. I don't know anything about Bassoon playing myself, but I was quite interested in what the author wrote on the history of Bassoon playing during Zelenka's life-time.

    I'm very excited for next week's festival and conference. A list of papers has been revealed on the (Czech language) Conference page:…a-conference-prague-2017/

    I'm especially intrigued by the great title for Jiří K. Kroupa's paper - possibly a new interpretation for Zelenka's dedication formula, eh?

    I'm proud and grateful, to Jan Stockigt, Johannes (djdresden) and Ensemble Inégal, to be presenting too this year. It is on research I've been doing this past year into the Zelenka family in Louňovice pod Blaníkem (mainly in the 1670s). I'll be showing some new findings (and confirmations of old information) from the parish registers, including evidence for possible connections with local nobility - I promise more on that after the Conference! :cool:

    And, I look forward to meeting people and having hearty discussions (over hearty food&drink!) once more, in wonderful Prague.

    Well this is eye-opening indeed :eek:

    Great spot RNKT!! That could have been so easy to pass by without notice. But, it's totally unmistakeable.
    Here's the SLUB page from Zelenka's autograph where the Et Vitam section starts: https://digital.slub-dresden.d…orkview/dlf/113399/102/0/
    And here is a rough-sounding recording of ZWV11 on youtube, linking to the start of the Et Vitam Venturi:

    As for the slow movement of that flute concerto - it really does smack of the ZWV19 Agnus Dei... the closeness is truly uncanny, and surely implies that Zelenka's work in the 1740s didn't just fall away without being heard / noticed by anyone!

    Ouch! I had not noticed this at all...

    And that would be a fairly simple solution, if you could get to Dresden and back again quickly :/