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Thread: Jan Dismas Zelenka

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    Junior Member ErFurtwanglert's Avatar
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    Default Jan Dismas Zelenka

    I purchased some Zelenka the other day, specifically, a complete set of his sonatas.

    I like him, he's like a sadder J. S. Bach.
    Quit Haydn and come out of your bachs.

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    I like a recording of Zelenka Sacred Music I have by Kings consort on Hyperion, from
    a few years ago. Very lovely.

    Ed

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    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
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    I've played bass in a perfomance of the Trio Sonata in F Major. It's wonderful music but extremely tyring to play. THe oboe players nearly passed out!

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    Such bouncy and quirky music. I love him!

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    Senior Member Air's Avatar
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    I've heard good things about Zelenka. Any recommendations?
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    So far I've really enjoyed his Sinfonia(and its actually in A minor) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUo50eZZNao. Of course I'm stuck on multiple movement pieces that resemble symphonies.

    There are a surprising number of a good cds. He seems to be great at writing orchestral suite type things, which is the type of thing I most enjoy, so outside of that, I'm not the biggest help. There is a piece with a strange title, "Hypochondrie" that I keep hearing about.

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    Senior Member Saturnus's Avatar
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    One of my favorite composers, he has such a personal and mature style! Very german and heavy, but totally different from Bach/Telemann.
    His trio sonatas for two oboes and BC are really amazing if you like heavy baroque counterpoint. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A29rhG-Nqk0
    For more lyrical pieces I recommend the 2nd movement of the Ouverture ZWV188 (at 07:40 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_cZDV1QZqo) and the 2nd movement from the Concerto ZWV186.

    But his masses is where he put his enthusiasm:

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    Yeah, as far as I can tell, his masses are his most important achievement. Very adventurous harmonically.

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    I currently have two "must hear" Zelenka recordings. Save your money and then ASAP:



    The lead musician on that is Holliger, and this recording seems essentially to have rescued Zelenka from obscurity.



    This seems to be the recording that persuaded many people that Zelenka is a major genius from the late Baroque deserving much more attention.

    There are a few more Zelenka recordings that I intend to hear in the near future, but for now - based on their reputations as well as my own experience - I can fervently recommend these two.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    Other great Zelenka recordings include:











    Zelenka played the violone, the largest and lowest member of the viol family, analogous to the double bass in the violin family of stringed instruments. The composer was a daring and innovative master of counterpoint. His works are often virtuosic and difficult to perform, but always fresh and surprising, with sudden turns of harmony, being always a challenge for their interpreters. In particular, his writing for bass instruments is far more demanding than that of other composers of his era. Not surprisingly, Zelenka was admired by J.S. Bach as evidenced in a letter from Bach to his son, Carl Phillip Emmanuel. Zelenka was even known to have been a guest in Bach's home in Leipzig.
    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

    Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with
    those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

    Pablo Picasso

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    SLGO, do you like all of those equally?
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    Well... personally I prefer Zelenka's choral works to the instrumental... but I still quite enjoyed the instrumental works by the Camerata Bern. Of the four I posted, I think my favorite would have been the I Penitenti al Sepolchro del Redentore which is by the same group as your second example (the Missa Votiva). It's been a while since I listened to the others. From what I recall the Lamentations (as might be expected) were less driven or rhythmic than other works by Zelenka, but I recall being quite impressed by the work. The performers is every instance are top-notch, with such brilliant singers as Robin Blaze and Michael Chance.
    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

    Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with
    those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

    Pablo Picasso

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Thank you!
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Recent article on JD Zelenka from the Spectator:

    "Why has nobody heard of the miraculous Czech composer Zelenka?"

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/musi...poser-zelenka/
    Last edited by mnsCA; Jul-31-2013 at 01:11.

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    Senior Member Bas's Avatar
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    Some other recommendations for Zelenka:

    Solo Motets - Alex Potter [counter tenor]
    On the panclassics label
    zelenka_potter_pc10274.jpg

    Missae dei Filii & Litaniae Lauretanae
    On Deutsche Harmonia Mundi

    zelenka-j-d-dhm-catalogue-2012-2013.jpg

    Gaude latare & Missae Sanctissimae Trinitatis
    On Nibiru
    zelenka_DNI157.jpg

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