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Klassiek - Verschenen op 27 augustus 2009 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 2 november 2018 | Carus

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
Of Zelenka's known works (roughly two hundred pieces) only about a dozen are not religious. And so it's no surprise that the catalogue contains heaps of masses, oratorios, requiems, psalms, litanies, Te Deums and Magnificats. He wrote all these marvels while working at the court of Dresden, where he spent the best part of his life, from 1710 until his death 35 years later. By all indications, the two successive monarchs he served liked his work a lot; but they were not his only fans. One Johann Sebastian Bach admired him enough to invite him to stay now and again, and to copy (or rather, to have his sons copy) several of Zelenka's works. His work would only come back into fashion after his death, thanks in particualr to the efforts of Smetana, who wanted to honour musicians of Czech origin, of whom Zelenka was one. The writing still shows great harmonic daring, stuffed to the brim with unusual chromaticisms in a great melting pot of national influences: there's North German counter-punctual rigour, of course, and Italian melodic flair – but then there is also something rarer: Bohemian and Moravian melismas, which are normally only found in the works of consciously "national" Czech composers, foremost of whom Smetana. Here we find his Mass of St Joseph, written in 1732 – making it a mature work of his – as well as some highly original psalms from the mid-1720s. The exceptional Frieder Bernius leads his his Stuttgart ensembles, the local Chamber Choir and Baroque Orchestra, which he has raised up to an international standard. This is the world's first-ever recording of this mass. © SM/Qobuz
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 1 januari 2000 | Carus

Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Although he was a contemporary and friend of Bach’s, Zelenka wrote his music in a comprehensively different style; his few years of study in Venice surely took his style off in a more flamboyant, extroverted direction. This is his monumental Missa Dei Patris ("Mass for God the Father", a sweeping title), written right at the end of his life – a life spent mostly in Dresden, where he was first a bass player and then a court composer – in a flamboyant style. The work has a refined orchestration and an impressive scope that moves from large choirs to solos, vocal ensembles, choruses and soloists, and a capella passages – in other words, all conceivable combinations, making it a must-listen that clocks in at over an hour. This recording, carried out by the now-famous Frieder Bernius and his Stuttgart Chamber Choir (backed up by the Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra), came to be in the year 2000, but has since lost none of its vigour or force. In Bernius’ hands, Zelenka takes his place in the baroque concert of nations. © SM/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 17 augustus 1990 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 mei 1990 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 19 maart 2004 | deutsche harmonia mundi