Posts by rnkt

    Dear All,

    Perhaps I can restart a new thread on the Requiem attributed to Zelenka (ZWV 45). I recently started to become interested in this work. I noticed that it was discussed on this site 10 years ago in a thread with a different title (see here). At the time, various members of this forum gave their opinion, some seeming to support the notion that some or all of ZWV 45 could be from the quill of Zelenka, others less convinced. I wondered what is the current status on this issue - have there been any new academic developments which help assign this work?

    I admit I totally dismissed ZWV 45 the first time I heard it - I listened to the old Dähler version. It is so dreamily (and sometimes drearily) performed I just could not reconcile it with the tension and/or energetic devotion of most of Zelenka's output. More recently, a rekindled fascination with ZWV 57 led me to acquire the Fiori Musicali album (I know, the version of ZWV 57 there is not the best). ZWV 45 is on that disk too and listening to it was quite a revelation. Time and again I suddenly found myself being sort of comfortable with Zelenka having written this. That is partly because bits of it are so weird and also there is such a juxtaposition of "ancient and modern" styles I am not sure that there are many composers who it could be fairly attributed to - they were all so normal baroque composers! However, there are still enough un-zelenka traits which bring doubts. The unusual scoring (no oboes) was brought up in the earlier thread. And then there are the slightly frivolous settings of some parts of the Sequenzia (esp. the lethally catchy "Tuba mirum"). That view might be the fault of the performance, however. It would be great to hear what the two current best Zelenka interpreters (Viktora or Luks) might make of those sections. I bet that they could make them sound more Zelenkan and also more appropriate for a requiem. Another concern is the frequent use in ZWV 45 of the tierce de picardy. Maybe I am wrong but I don't think Zelenka uses that device much or even at all. So, overall I could accept that Zelenka composed this work, but probably in a scenario where it was for a very unique occasion where it demanded some differences from his "usual" works (if such a thing existed for him!). I guess one theory, mentioned by djdresden in the old post is that ZWV 45 is the requiem written for Zelenka's dad. Perhaps daddy was a fan of the tierce de picardy or might have been so devout that it was ok for his trumpet of judgement to be jolly merry. The music certainly contains moments of intense emotion which could be consistent with a very personal loss of its composer. Moreover, it would have been improper for Zelenka to demand the royal musicians put on a grand affair for a commoner. Hence the sparse scoring (strings and poignant trombones).

    I would like to throw another theory into the ring that I did not read in the old thread and also nowhere else (but could well have been proposed elsewhere already). How about Heinichen as the composer of part or all of ZWV 45? I listened to quite a lot of Heinichen lately and his vocal music often has almost as much quirkiness and invention as Zelenka's. Moreover, depending on the interpretation, some Heinichen works could easily be mistaken for Zelenka's. There is a recording of Heinichen's Requiem in E flat (Seibel 18) on YouTube - . I encourage you to listen to that in alternation with ZWV 45. While the scoring is richer (oboes, flutes etc), I can't help but notice some similarities. Like ZWV 45, the work is quite reflective and Heinichen also merges ancient and modern. There are also some quirky tunes (like the gently burbling and not at all wrathful Dies Irae). Heinichen's fugues are often a bit less complex (and shorter) than Zelenka's and this also seems to fit with ZWV 45. So, all in all, I reckon he could also be a reasonable candidate. Any comments of opposition or agreement?

    - RNKT

    Those reviews are certainly glowing, the more serious two seeming almost taken by surprise at the spiritual depth achieved by Zelenka which one normally only assumes was only achieved in that period by JS Bach. One review even concludes that ZWV 21 deserves a place alongside the B minor mass. It is also noted how Zelenka anticipates, far more than Bach, the developments in musical form championed by Haydn and Mozart. I'm no supporter of the quite childish and superfluous "which composer is better" discussion but recognition of such impressive achievements of Zelenka in these reviews (which were greatly helped by the very excellent programme notes (http://www.berliner-philharmon…e/kalender/details/22424/)) is really positive.

    Isn't the portrait they have put in one review that of JA Hasse, not Heinichen. Certainly it is on Hasse's wikipedia page along with other portraits which bear similarities (so I guess it was him). I thought I read somewhere that there is no known portrait of Heinichen (as with Zelenka). Camera shy, our Dresdner Virtuosi!

    With these high profile tour concerts I do hope C1704 will get a slot one day at the BBC Proms. I just checked out the programme for this year and early music is really miserably represented (apart from yet another rendition of the B minor mass). A program like the one in Berlin would also be ideal for such a Prom: a happy clappy concerto grosso to please the tourists, a Bach piece to lure in the "Bach is the only baroque composer worth listening to" crowd and then ZWV 17, ZWV 18, ZWV 19, ZWV 20 or ZWV 21 (we really are spoilt for choice!) to blow their minds.

    Good to hear it went down so well! Here's a positive review that recently came out online:…felmusik-dorothee-mields/

    Great review, though not sure I agree with this:

    "Zelenka was the loser in the tussle of courtly politics in Dresden, and, in his final years, sat down to show why he didn’t deserve to be slighted. He poured every drop of creative ink he could muster into a set of grand Mass settings he knew could never be performed in his lifetime...... We know that Zelenka never heard this music in his lifetime because there was a 45-minute limit on the length of Mass settings in Dresden, and his Missa Omnium Sanctorum lasts for more than an hour."

    Can we really 100% conclude that these works were not performed? I thought I read somewhere that ZWV 17 and 18 must have been performed and these are longer than 45 mins. Of course it sounds very nice to say that he composed only for himself and God in the last years. But throughout his career Zelenka also seems to have been quite a pragmatist, dishing up top quality music for this or that occasion, but there always was an occasion. And I think he enjoyed being different and wrote in his idiosyncratic way in order to be heard. I do believe these works (also ZWV 19-21) were heard, but in a setting which meant the occasion was not recorded. Perhaps a commission from outside of Dresden and the corresponding copy and parts have gone missing. Obviously I am speculating, but I think so are the people who say these works were never performed.

    Great news - Thanks! This is a fine and fun (and not too long) mass which has some great Zelenkanisms in and really it needs to be out there and performed (beyond the fantastic Inégal recording, that is). Check out the unison passage at the start of the 3rd page of the Kyrie and the first bar of the 4th page of the Gloria. That's jazz, 200 years early, right there! With the imminent arrival of Hasse do you think this rather "irreverent" music (along with the gratuitous "dig" at the end about having to compose this work in 10 days while being sick) is Zelenka's way of bowing out of providing "solemn" music for the full ceremonial orchestra? Indeed, the next mass he would compose, three years later, is Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis, which is as violent as Purificationis is light-hearted. I don't buy into the whole "grumpy old s0d" characterisation of Zelenka, but that he was certainly more than full of character, there is no doubt!

    My earlier post was perhaps not explicit enough about the fact I find this a great recording and an important and long overdue illumination of another fascinating facet of Zelenka's life and musical output. Thanks so much to Petr, the soloists, ensemble and production team who made this such an enjoyable disc! And thanks for elaborating on your motivation for performing it this way. I think it was exactly the right approach.

    My personal favourite is Aria no. 3 (E voi siete d'altri). With its 10 minutes of burbling bliss and occasional shady harmonic changes I was convinced it was about some kind of idyllic stream. But then I checked the booklet and found out that it is mainly about lips and bees. Hey, Zelenka, what's that all about? :rolleyes: Looking at the score this also has to be close to a record for Zelenka for the most pedantic dynamic markings (and that is saying something because he was clearly very very picky about dynamics). Indeed, he seems to have everything from pp to ff. On one long note with a fermata sign above (bottom of p37) he even asks for the singer to go forte - piano - forte while the accompanying instruments go piano - forte - piano. Talk about micromanagement! :rolleyes: But I suppose such pedantic dynamic markings might add support to the theory that these works were to be performed by Zelenka's vocal students...

    With the flurry of recent Zelenka releases the reviews are coming in. Most attention (perhaps surprisingly or maybe not!) is on the Italian Arias album (Hana Blažiková et al., Ensemble Tourbillon).

    Early Music Review

    Amazon (but very high quality review!)


    Bavarian Radio

    DKGDR (don't know German didn't read): With the title "The obstructed opera composer" this review is firstly full of praise for Zelenka - "he's been called the <<Czech Vivaldi>> because he was mostly rediscovered through his instrumental music, but <<Bohemian Bach>> would be a much fairer comparison due to his significant output of sacred vocal music, which cannot be praised enough" It then goes on to get a bit cynical and also factually incorrect about the fact that this was the only foray of Zelenka into the world of opera (clearly the reviewer had never heard of Il Diamante!). The reviewer seems to work on the premise that these arias were planned to demonstrate his abilities at writing for the stage but Zelenka made them too chamber music-like. The actual performance is highly rated and described as "soulful" and "exemplary"

    Kultur Radio.

    DKGDR: Historically very well researched and written review - tells the facts that we know and doesn't speculate about Zelenka's bitterness or "hopeless personality" as I think I read in another recent German text. However, the reviewer is pretty critical about the recording itself. Under the headline "Great voices, weak orchestra" the review is full of praise for Blažiková and her two colleagues who take over in the 3 arias for alto and bass. However, the size of the accompanying ensemble is strongly criticized: "In view of the ample resources of the Dresden court orchestra [for which Zelenka composed], the one-player-per part strings accompaniment [on this disc] is hard to comprehend. Zelenka's blazing arias come across as involuntarily chamber music-like and not precisely enough delivered at that. Even more irritating is the reverberation, which blurrs the transparency strived for."

    That last review picks up the same theme as Brian Clark in Early Music Review, namely that Zelenka would have expected these arias to be performed by a more powerful ensemble than the Ensemble Tourbillon. Both reviews seem to work on the premise that Zelenka only wrote for a huge orchestra and would not be someone to "think small". Of course the (arguably not well-chosen) album cover does lead one to expect a big sound.

    However, I personally feel that the recording is actually rather close to what Zelenka had in mind for these works. While I was a little surprised when I first clicked play, on repeated listens I find it is actually quite refreshing to hear Zelenka performed this way. Moreover it is notable that none of the arias call for the oboes, bassoons (and often flutes) that Zelenka almost exclusively included in his scoring for his middle and late career works. This fact hints that these are arias which can be performed with the minimum of resources. Actually, if a large string section were used and with the absence of other colours from Zelenka's palette (oboes etc.) I would worry that things would get quite muddy in these often rather complex settings. I know, that is partly the criticism being levelled at Zelenka as to why his "style" was (allegedly) interpreted as unsuitable for the opera house. But, if we consider that Zelenka was actually thinking of chamber works with his 8 arias then that criticism evaporates. Afterall, right from the 1723 Melodrama (I know, in Latin, but very dramatic and stuffed full of showstopping-arias) through the oratorios to Il Diamante, Zelenka proves he can write in the cutting edge operatic style (I cannot judge the "Italian language" criticism or poor choice of texts because I know s0d all about 18th century Italian!).

    I believe it could possibly be that the reason for Zelenka's lack of penetration into the field of opera lies elsewhere than the skills deficit which the scholars seem to be citing (despite there being no contemporary source to assess Zelenka's operatic potential). Maybe he was just too busy; maybe he felt "chosen" to focus his energy on sacred music; or maybe he just disliked the whole "opera thing". We could speculate all day. Bottom line (my opinion): Zelenka could have written a full blown opera of the highest calibre but never did, for whatever reason. Come to think of it, wasn't there another composer lurking around in that part of the world at that time whose vocal music was almost exclusively for the church, but given time and motivation could probably have probably written absolutely legendary operatic music.... can't quite think of his name right now :)

    - RNKT

    Yeah, my CD arrived a few days ago and I have been revelling in it on some long train journeys the last days! Altogether a fine disc, not to mention the cover design and sleevenotes, the latter being particularly illuminating as mentioned by Xanaseb

    So, around 9 months later was born a new baby boy prince, which she named Franz Xavier(first name) Albert August Ludwig Benno, in tribute to her Jesuit patron saint, and Saint Benno of Meissen where the family had gone in the past year on pilgrimage.

    i have to admit I made a double-take here. Was Dr Stockigt implying some kind of divine influence of Zelenka's Xaverian works on the royal pair or maybe hinting at an aphrodisiac effect of his music? Apart from Sancti Josephi it is probably his second or third most romping mass setting (esp. the Gloria), so I am sure it got some pulses racing. Forget Mozart for babies, how about Zelenka for conception?!

    While the details in the booklet were really interesting, I felt they did miss a few things regarding the actual music. For instance, the origin of that great and really quite catchy motif which is worked in various ways into the Kyrie I, Christe and Kyrie II, not to mention the Dona Nobis Pacem. To have such a lyrical theme in the Kyrie is a little bit unusual for mid-career, full orchestra Zelenka - he normally went for a noisy, grand opening. I think he did it differently in ZWV 12 to a request, possibly from Josepha herself. It is possible that she was particularly fond of Zelenka's theme in the Quonium of Missa Circumcisionis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi (ZWV 11) which Zelenka composed a year earlier. The extension of that theme to the ZWV 12 theme in its various manifestations is pretty obvious I think.

    A further, less obvious and maybe rather more speculative aspect is the inspiration for the Benedictus Hosanna fugue. In 1729, shortly before his death, Heinichen composed a rather nice setting of the Magnificat (A major Seibel 90). Towards the beginning the chorus launches into an energetic fugue on the words "et exsultavit" to a theme which bears more than a passing resemblance to Zelenka's ZWV 12 Hosanna motif from later in the year. It is unclear if Heinichen ever heard his Magnificat performed and given his failing health it might have fallen to Zelenka to perform it, or not as may also have been the case (perhaps the Dresden scholars can comment!).

    In any case, I speculate that Zelenka let himself be inspired by this motif of his former superior. Perhaps it was even a subtle nod towards the man who I like to think was also a close friend and collaborator of Zelenka. Very little seems to have been written about the Zelenka-Heinichen relationship, probably because there are no sources which shed much light on it. However, one simply has to compare the music of both men and one can see that these two were very much on the same wavelength. I dipped into a lot of the recorded Heinichen (sadly not enough) in recent months and was quite startled to find that several characteristics I considered as "Zelenkanisms" repeatedly crop up in Heinichen's music too. I mean, major/minor switches, sudden harmonic shifts (some even more bold and dramatic than the most scary Zelenka ones actually!) and also handling of the orchestra, not just as a bland accompaniment to the vocalists/choir but also bringing colour and energy. Of course there are differences and things which remain more unique to Zelenka - the use of syncopation, the dotted rhythms, the dark tones. But anyway, after this foray into Heinichen I ask myself the question - who actually influenced who? Or did they develop this style together? Certainly I think the evidently very devout catholic Zelenka might have been a useful religious guide for the lutheran Heinichen, advising him on appropriate settings of the catholic liturgy. On the other hand, Heinichen, I personally believe was up there with Handel and the other greats regarding showstopping vocal lines and this might have helped Zelenka learn the ropes in the opera department.

    Well, perhaps the Zelenka researchers can shoot down or otherwise comment on this Heinichen relationship thing. Or maybe it was already discussed in this forum but I did not find it. In which case, sorry.

    The second work on the new disc, the Xaverian litanies is also a premiere recording and a fine work. The setting for orchestra and a pair of horns is again very reminiscent of Heinichen and again I am wondering, given the Kappelmeister's death earlier in the year, and the fact that there does not seem to have been a setting of the litanies performed in 1728 (scholars, please correct me if I am wrong) whether Zelenka actually partially based his setting on sketches from Heinichen. Especially the opening section and quite brilliant alto aria "Cujus potestati" (totally nailed on the disk by Lucile Richardot) seem a little atypical of Zelenka of this period.

    Well, lots of speculation inspired by this fine disc - a perfect yin to complement the definitive yang of the recent Vespertini I disc from Inégal!

    - RNKT

    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.


    Don't be put off by the release date on the JPC website. I ordered my disc last week and it just arrived 30 minutes ago!!! An unexpected (but welcome) xmas present, to go along with the Inegal Psalmi Vespertini disc, which you have whetted my appetite for with your various "spoilers" ;). Which to listen to first ....?

    ... found a bit of time to record a tribute today in the form of a keyboard version of the sublime "et incarnatus est" from ZWV 17. It can be found here on the recordings tab at the relevant imslp page. I hope my rather improvised version does justice. I think this piece sums up one of the most important characteristics of Zelenka - that he was captivated by the past and the future in equal measures. Enjoy!

    Today, 270 years ago, Zelenka died in Dresden. Unfortunately very few, if any, events seem planned to mark this. I found this short (and by Zelenka "myth" standards quite tame) tribute in German here:

    Pity they did not reference any of the more recent excellent recordings.

    Can anyone do any better?

    - RNKT

    p.s. For the 340th birthday in october 2019 there needs to be more noise, hopefully a festival and conference like the one this year. Oh and a Google doodle - the one for Beethoven last week was pretty cool!

    A couple of upcoming concerts in Franconia to inform about:

    1) 10 January 2016 in the Bamberg Symphony Hall - a chamber concert including the Sonata in F (ZWV 181/5). Details here:


    2) (thanks Xanaseb for this) 12 March 2016 in the (very beautiful) Lorenzkirche in Nuremberg. Details are sketchy but it seems the Lamentationes (not clear which) will be performed alongside works by Bach and others. Tickets here:…rche-am-12-3-2016/e770376

    Please reupload video ( because i get :"This video is not available. "
    Thank you.

    That video was made available by Supraphon but is apparently unavailable in some countries due to rights issues (I am in Germany and I also get that error message). However, those (and other) great old vinyl recordings can be purchased as mp3 for not very much on the Supraphon website here:…jan-dismas-zelenka?page=1 Another highlight there is the 1944 recording of Hipocondrie by the Czech Philharmonic under Rafael Kubelik. Don't be put off by the opening section which is very strangely played - the central fugal section is excellent.

    Here is a "foretaste of the heavenly pleasures", courtesy of Adam Viktora:…-israel-zwv-83-first-part

    Wow, they nailed it! It's fast and furious but never sounds rushed. Compared to the other three versions available (see my previous posting, one old recording and two youtube postings of poor quality audio of performances, one of them by Collegium 1704) finally the full details of Zelenka's score are exposed. At this speed, the bursts of orchestral colour he threw in here and there particularly dazzle. Moreover, the choir danced like rams even when it was not called for in the text (:D) and the soloists had a fine day at the office too! The only thing that caught me was the final note: Apart from a complete lack of rallentando, they apparently decided to drop the quadrupole stop (a e' c'' a'') in the 2nd violins and get the 2nds double the 1sts on an a'. This makes the final chord seem rather abrupt and almost missing the need to draw a big fat line under those 7 minutes of highly energetic playing and singing. However, I reserve judgement till I hear the final disc. Perhaps the gap to the Gloria Patri will be extremely short and so we will spill abruptly into the, in contrast rather sickly sweet section, before returning quickly to the gritty and determined mood for the "atonal" fugue. Of course I cannot wait to hear the the latter having worked intensively on that for the keyboard transcription recently.

    I stated above that if the tempo necessary to cram the 7 works onto one CD can be achieved then it will be a mind-blowing disc. Judging by this pretaste, I was right. I cannot wait for the rest - it is going to arrive in the mail in the next few days. Unfortunately I ordered it to my wife and told her to give it me for xmas. So, please no more spoilers in the next three weeks :eek:

    More western Germany concerts! As RNKT noticed elsewhere, ZWV 108 is getting good coverage. Multiple dates, mostly in towns in the west, but one will be in Reidstatel, near Nuremberg, on the 3rd of December:

    That's not far from me in the town of Neumarkt. Reitstadel is the name of the venue - it means (roughly) "horse-riders barn". So, another in the growing line of Zelenka concerts to take place in a barn. What would he have made of all this?!

    Unfortunately I am already fully-booked on 3rd December, otherwise I would have gone :(

    Now they have the full track listing (and final cover) shown at…asp?itemId=22939&level=51. The track-listing confirms Alistair's statement above that ZWV 82 (a rather jolly setting of Laudate Pueri) is indeed included. For the seven works on the disc the total time is 79:56, so that is one full disc (4 seconds away from perfection?!). As I mentioned above, to obtain that playing time, they must have been "digging it", so to speak! To give an idea, take the huge opening chorus of ZWV 83 which on the new disc has a play time of 7:02. The three other versions of this chorus play for 8:54 (Kühn mixed choir here), 7:38 (Collegium 1704 live here), 8:04 (A Brazilian ? performance here). To be 36 seconds quicker than the already fast Luks performance is going to take some and we can expect some quite dazzling solo lines there. Same applies to the Magnificat which clocks in at about the same speed as the recording by Capella Piccola, which, David Nelson refers in his survey on this site with "the tempo in the first two sections seems to me much too quick, forcing the soprano and choir almost to gabble".

    If Inegal have pulled this off (and with their pedigree there is no reason to suspect that they won't) then this is going to be mind-blowing high-energy disc. Wow, can't wait!!

    Dear All,

    Thanks for your appreciative words and thanks especially djdresden for sharing the earliest known piano transcriptions. I also thought the little bio of Zelenka in German was great and showed that 100 years ago none of this "old misery guts Zelenka" stuff was going on - I like how it stresses that yeah, he did not get the job he hoped for, but still the Queen valued him greatly. Anyway, I bashed through them and they are quite fun to play and sound good. But of course these are not transcriptions of Zelenka's finest works. My personal objective in my transcriptions is to showcase his idiosyncratic style and so I am prioritising the transcription of works, which, when I was getting to know Zelenka over the past years, had moments when I thought, did he really write that? I think if such works become more accessible to amateurs who can tinkle away at them at home then I think the awareness of the uniqueness and significance of our composer will surely increase. I personally see extremely strong influences of Zelenka on CPE Bach and both Haydns, perhaps more so than that of JS Bach, Handel etc. I am hoping the keyboard transcriptions will help promote that thinking further!

    My first transcription was of the Quoniam from Missa Sancti Josephi, not because it is my absolute favourite Zelenka work but because it is kind of dance-like (though in a kind of satirical way, almost as if he was poking fun at his Leipzig colleague whose entire output can be summarized as dance music and chorales :cool:) and quirky in terms of sudden dynamic changes and so probably well suited to the keyboard.

    My second transcription has been the amen fugue from In exitu Israel (ZWV 83), mainly because I heard it for the first time a few months ago and haven't been able to expunge it from my head since. It is one of the only 18th century works which comes very close to atonality and is much less tacky than the rather overhyped ouverture by Rebel. I managed to get a copy of the score (manuscript not yet scanned at SLUB) and was quite pleased to see how easily and well the music transcribed. There were three problematic bars which simply did not sound good in the direct transcription so I had to change them a little bit (see if you can spot them - hint - one of them includes a jazz chord which Zelenka did not use, but one could easily imagine him doing so :cool:)

    One of my current projects is a transcription of the Quoniam from Missa Dei Patris - anyone who disagrees that Zelenka was at all influenced by folk tradition better hear this. In the original version it sounds funky, in the piano version, it is basically like Haydn or early Beethoven. But I still have some way to go with that. I am also doing the double fugue (Cum sancto) from ZWV 30 because it is one of the most grand, climatic works he wrote, especially if you hear the raw, but full-blooded performance posted by the Russian conservatory posted on youtube (it is also begging for a professional recording - please, someone do this!!).

    I see from your responses that you would like to hear how these transcriptions sound. I am not a strong pianist (any more) due to lack of time for playing. I also don't have good recording equipment. However, I will try to post recordings. To get us started, I recorded the ZWV83 transcription this evening. You can download it here:…_ZWV83_fugue_pno.mp3?dl=0. It is not a great performance and the sound quality is rubbish but I hope you get the idea, especially of the other-worldly opening section. The work stands up well against the best keyboard fugues of Bach and shows Zelenka's mastery in engineering great climaxes and releases in his contrapuntal writing, techniques he employed to wonderful effect in the immense fugues from his late works.


    But.... no ZWV 82 apparently :( So, apart from the ZWV 108, it's going to be quite an intense (but certainly not dull!) disc. All 7 motets probably wouldn't have fit on a CD unless they took some breakneck tempi (the version reconstructed on youtube is 86 minutes long!). The Mag has been recorded so much (at least the trumpet version) and is now being performed all over the place so I would have thought it could have been left out and ZWV 82 included. Well, difficult choice... roll on 30.11