References in English

References in English

Today, [Zelenka] is rightly regarded as one of the most important composers of late Baroque orchestral masses who brought the development of the so-called ‘number mass’ type to its culmination. (Wolfgang Horn)

Research into Zelenka's life and music has been increasing steadily since the 1980's, with growing interest over the last three decades in particular, as appreciation of the music and Zelenka's stature within the Baroque period has grown and deepened. There have been several conferences focused solely on Zelenka over the last 30 years: in Marburg (1991), in Dresden and Prague (1995) and more recently as part of the Zelenka Festival Prague – Dresden series organized by Adam Viktora and Ensemble Inégal.

Until relatively recently most of the literature on Zelenka was written in German; however, an increasing amount of research is now being published in English as well. Below is a selection of references in English (see further down the page for references in German), grouped thematically and appearing in reverse chronological order within each theme. Many of the references are technical in nature; however, some are accessible and would be of interest to a general readership as well. Where possible, a link to the full-text PDF is provided. Being a selection, the list is not intended to be exhaustive, but provides a sample that could serve as a starting point for further reading.

General interest/biographical

At present, Janice Stockigt's prize-winning book from 2000 (see below) can still be regarded as authorative; however, recent scholarship has revealed a number of additional details and has shed significant light on Zelenka's professional biography. In particular, a 2015 issue of Clavibus Unitis, edited by Jiří K. Kroupa (which can be downloaded for free at the previous link, or further below) was a milestone in Zelenka research, as it contained a seminal article by Janice Stockigt and Jóhannes Ágústsson on what has been learned about Zelenka's life and character in the time since Janice Stockigt's book was published.

David Charlton has made available a very well-written article on Zelenka's life, albeit now out of date with respect to some major biographical details (see above and also the Frequently Asked Questions page).


Of more specific interest are publications looking into the history of Zelenka's works and/or presenting musicological analyses of particular works or groups of works. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish a purely historical from a purely musicological publication, so both types have been grouped below, with a tentative break between the “more historical” and “more musicological” references.

Of the more musicological references, HyunJin Cho's 2010 thesis deserves mention from the viewpoint of a non-specialist readership, since it provides valuable insights into one of Zelenka's greatest masses (Missa Dei Patris, ZWV 19) in a shorter and less technical form than the other more specialized theses of David Stefano and Michael Driscoll (which are also excellent in their own right). The aforementioned 2015 issue of Clavibus Unitis also contains an article by Wolfgang Horn on the relationship between opera arias and Zelenka's arias, which, although musicological in nature, is also (at least in part) accessible to a general readership. Finally, Janice Stockigt's 2009 article on Zelenka's Missa Votiva ZWV 18 deserves mention for its readability and high accessibility.

Of the more historical references, articles by Janice Stockigt and Jóhannes Ágústsson look at various musical collections, among other topics, while Frederic Kiernan's article sheds new light on how Zelenka's music was received in the 19th century, and would be of interest to a non-specialist readership as well.

As mentioned previously, additional references in German can be found further below.

References in German

References in German

Nachfolgend finden Sie einige Referenzen zu Zelenka in deutscher Sprache, die in umgekehrter chronologischer Reihenfolge erscheinen. Wenn Sie weitere Referenzen kennen, schreiben Sie bitte eine E-Mail.