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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 26 mei 2017 | Accent

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The six sonatas by Jan Dismas Zelenka ZWV 181 are among the most noteworthy pieces of chamber music of their day and are some the most difficult works in the Baroque oboe and bassoon repertoire, while also being key works of Zelenka’s musical legacy. Nowadays, Zelenka, a Czech composer who spent most of his life in Dresden, no longer needs much introduction because he finally has a firmly established place among the greatest composers of the first half of the eighteenth century. That, however, has not always been the case. His nearly forgotten music did not attract wider attention until the latter half of the twentieth century, and it was these sonatas that played an important role in this. In Zelenka’s day, collections of trio sonatas were a traditional form of presentation of a certain maturity of compositional artistry, and as a matter of fact the composer was here entering the fourth decade of his life – recent musicological research has placed their composition around the years 1721 and 1722. His sonatas likewise are not early works dependent on models. Five of the six sonatas have a four-movement layout and other external features of a sonata da chiesa in the Corelli manner, but the Fifth Sonata has a three-movement structure, quick movements in ritornello form, and other features directly alluding to Antonio Vivaldi’s chamber concertos or to the special sonata of the “auf Concertenart” type. In the application of four- part writing “con due bassi obligati”, manifesting itself in the more or less independent bassoon part or in the abundant use of counterpoint, the sonatas are exceptionally long, so they make great demands on the technical skill and endurance of the players. Zelenka’s writing, however, takes the chosen instruments into consideration by employing suitable keys, keeping in mind the need for places to breathe, etc. Another striking feature is the enormous intensity of expression. Although the composer makes plentiful use of sophisticated contrapuntal techniques and forms for the construction of broadly striding themes and for the combination of the individual voices, this “learnedness” is never at the expense of musical spontaneity. The Czech early music ensemble Collegium 1704, founded 1991 by harpsichordist and horn player Václav Luks (was formerly horn soloist of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, an excellent school for historically informed performance) plays on period instruments, as may be expected. © SM/Qobuz
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Koormuziek - Verschenen op 20 maart 2020 | Accent

Hi-Res Booklet
The name of the composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745) was nothing more than a footnote in a few scholarly dictionaries, before the great oboist Heinz Holliger discovered – and in 1972, along with Maurice Bourgue, recorded – all his sonatas in trios for two oboes and continuo. A great composer who had been swallowed up over the years was suddenly revealed. Following this discovery, many musicians and musicologists have been working steadily to excavate the music of an author who became the most important Czech composer of the baroque period. As was often the case with composers of his time, Zelenka's catalogue runs to a considerable size, consisting mainly of religious music, with twenty-three Masses and three Requiems. Bach knew his peer and respected him, although their music is very different: one with its Lutheran origins and the other with a fervent Catholicism which brings the Czech's work a passionate charge and a more emotional expression than the austerity of the Leipzig master. At the head of his Collegium Vocale 1704, Václav Luks is continuing his work around Zelenka, this time bringing us an imaginary mass based on various psalms composed around the year 1724. It is a showcase for works which are original both in terms of their expressive power (with bold chromatisms) and their varied instrumentation featuring trombones and a rich continuo. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 april 2019 | Accent

Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 oktober 2008 | Alpha

Booklet
The Missa Votiva, ZWV 18, of Czech-German composer Jan Dismas Zelenka was written in 1739, late in Zelenka's life. It has something in common with the String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132, of Beethoven: both are late works written as prayers of thanksgiving after their respective composers' recovery from serious illness. And, although the Zelenka work is virtually unknown, both are staggering masterpieces. The more Zelenka's music surfaces, the more he appears a major composer of the late Baroque; he was probably ignored for so long because his life story, during eras when audiences loved to have biographies on which to hang music, is largely obscure. This fine recording, by the Czech groups Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704 under Václav Luks on the French label Zig-Zag Territoires, is all the more impressive in that Baroque sacred music was rare, and historically informed performance unknown, in the Czech Republic 15 years ago, both having been frowned upon by Czechoslovakia's Communist regime. The form of Zelenka's mass is borrowed from the sumptuous masses of southern Italy in the early eighteenth century, with each of the five major divisions of the mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) subdivided into individual numbers in the manner of an opera. Zelenka's realization of the form, however, is uniquely diverse. The parade of events in the mass is gripping, for the text has rarely been set so personally and vividly. Zelenka sets many of the arias in the galant operatic style of the day, with syncopations and orchestral effects, but these are exquisitely balanced with evocations of the antique. A piece of chant, as yet unidentified, weaves its way through the Credo, and Zelenka takes off in several different ways from a descending chromatic figure, tracing a fourth, that could have come from the polyphony of the early seventeenth century. There are several big fugues, and not where you expect them; one sets the "Crucifixus" text, and it leads into an extremely dramatic setting, alternating fast and slow passages, of the remainder of the Credo. Several of the arias are lovely, and the largely unknown Czech soloists are uniformly good; soprano Stanislava Mihalcová, heard in the Benedictus (track 17) is a standout. There are several instances of the pungent harmonies for which Zelenka's chamber music is known, each deployed with unerring timing. The rendition of the work's beauties must conclude here, although the list is by no means complete, with the rounding of the form in the "Dona nobis pacem" with the opening Kyrie music, one of the many forward-looking traits in a piece written by a 60-year-old composer. The only source of complaint here is rather boxy sound and some noise between movements from the performers, but the latter only emphasizes what must have been considerable excitement on the musicians' part. The Missa votiva is nothing less than a lost masterpiece, strongly recommended for your discovery. Booklet texts are in French and English. © TiVo
From
CD€ 13,99

Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 2009 | Alpha Classics

Booklet
From
CD€ 13,99

Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 oktober 2008 | Alpha Classics

Booklet
The Missa Votiva, ZWV 18, of Czech-German composer Jan Dismas Zelenka was written in 1739, late in Zelenka's life. It has something in common with the String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132, of Beethoven: both are late works written as prayers of thanksgiving after their respective composers' recovery from serious illness. And, although the Zelenka work is virtually unknown, both are staggering masterpieces. The more Zelenka's music surfaces, the more he appears a major composer of the late Baroque; he was probably ignored for so long because his life story, during eras when audiences loved to have biographies on which to hang music, is largely obscure. This fine recording, by the Czech groups Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704 under Václav Luks on the French label Zig-Zag Territoires, is all the more impressive in that Baroque sacred music was rare, and historically informed performance unknown, in the Czech Republic 15 years ago, both having been frowned upon by Czechoslovakia's Communist regime. The form of Zelenka's mass is borrowed from the sumptuous masses of southern Italy in the early eighteenth century, with each of the five major divisions of the mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) subdivided into individual numbers in the manner of an opera. Zelenka's realization of the form, however, is uniquely diverse. The parade of events in the mass is gripping, for the text has rarely been set so personally and vividly. Zelenka sets many of the arias in the galant operatic style of the day, with syncopations and orchestral effects, but these are exquisitely balanced with evocations of the antique. A piece of chant, as yet unidentified, weaves its way through the Credo, and Zelenka takes off in several different ways from a descending chromatic figure, tracing a fourth, that could have come from the polyphony of the early seventeenth century. There are several big fugues, and not where you expect them; one sets the "Crucifixus" text, and it leads into an extremely dramatic setting, alternating fast and slow passages, of the remainder of the Credo. Several of the arias are lovely, and the largely unknown Czech soloists are uniformly good; soprano Stanislava Mihalcová, heard in the Benedictus (track 17) is a standout. There are several instances of the pungent harmonies for which Zelenka's chamber music is known, each deployed with unerring timing. The rendition of the work's beauties must conclude here, although the list is by no means complete, with the rounding of the form in the "Dona nobis pacem" with the opening Kyrie music, one of the many forward-looking traits in a piece written by a 60-year-old composer. The only source of complaint here is rather boxy sound and some noise between movements from the performers, but the latter only emphasizes what must have been considerable excitement on the musicians' part. The Missa votiva is nothing less than a lost masterpiece, strongly recommended for your discovery. Booklet texts are in French and English. © TiVo