Jan Dismas Zelenka
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1679-10-16
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/34a4fc02-82fb-4168-9787-ab5e10a662f2
Jan Dismas Zelenka

Jan Dismas Zelenka Biography (BBC)

Jan Dismas Zelenka was born in Lounovice, not far from Prague, the son of the local organist and choirmaster. It is probable that he was educated at the Jesuit Collegium Clementinum in Prague, and his earliest employment seems to have been in that city as well, but in 1710 he moved to Dresden to join the orchestra of Friedrich August I, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, as a double bass player.

The Dresden court musical establishment (or Kapelle) was one of the grandest in Europe, and there Zelenka worked alongside other distinguished musicians such as Pisendel, Quantz and Veracini. A further widening of his experience came in 1716, when he was one of four court musicians selected to travel to Italy for a study tour. It is not certain whether or not Zelenka actually made it as far as Italy (unsubstantiated reports claim that he had lessons from Antonio Lotti in Venice and also visited Naples), but it is known that from 1717 to 1719 he was in Vienna, where he studied with Johann Joseph Fux.

On his return to Dresden, Zelenka began to compose on a regular basis for the Electoral Chapel, which was rapidly becoming an important centre for Catholic church music in what was a predominantly Lutheran part of Germany. This work was interrupted for a trip back to Prague in the early 1720s, but taken up again even more keenly on his return; the majority of his surviving works date from this time.

Despite this, he seems to have received little recognition from his employers, gaining no official enhancement to his salary or status even when, following the death of the Kapellmeister Johann David Heinichen in 1729, Zelenka took over many of his duties. Worse still, Zelenka’s hopes of formally succeeding Heinichen were dashed when the younger and more fashionable Johann Adolf Hasse was appointed to the post instead. By the time Zelenka finally got a pay-rise in 1736, interest in church music was waning in Dresden, and in his last years he was a marginalised figure.

Zelenka’s music combines rigorous construction with a distinctive melodic and harmonic individualism, and ranges in tone from high seriousness to quirky humour. His interest in the work of earlier masters such as Palestrina and Frescobaldi was unusual for his time, and his skills in counterpoint won admiration from Bach, yet at the same time he was as responsive as any of his German colleagues to the latest Baroque developments from France and Italy.

Of his personality, we are told by a contemporary that he was ‘a reserved and bigoted Catholic, but also a respectable, quiet, unassuming man, deserving of the greatest respect’.

Profile © Lindsay Kemp, 2004

Jan Dismas Zelenka Biography (Wikipedia)

Jan Dismas Zelenka (baptised Jan Lukáš Zelenka; 16 October 1679 – 23 December 1745), also known as Johann Dismas Zelenka, was a Czech composer and musician of the Baroque period. His music is admired for its harmonic inventiveness and counterpoint.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Jan Dismas Zelenka Audio & Video


Jan Dismas Zelenka Performances

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Jan Dismas Zelenka
Overture a 7 in F major ZWV.188
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Overture a 7 in F major ZWV.188
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Suite in F major
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Suite in F major
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Sonata No.5 in F major, ZWV181/5
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Sonata No.5 in F major, ZWV181/5
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Missa Divi Zaveri ZWV.12 - Gloria (excerpt)
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Missa Divi Zaveri ZWV.12 - Gloria (excerpt)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Magnificat anima mea Dominum (Magnificat)
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Magnificat anima mea Dominum (Magnificat)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
E voi siete d'altri, o labra soavi, ZWV 176
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E voi siete d'altri, o labra soavi, ZWV 176
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Missa Divi Xaverii ZWV12
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Missa Divi Xaverii ZWV12
Jan Dismas Zelenka
1st movement [Allegro] from Sinfonia a 8 Concertanti in A minor (ZWV.189)
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1st movement [Allegro] from Sinfonia a 8 Concertanti in A minor (ZWV.189)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Requiem mass in D major, ZWV.46
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Requiem mass in D major, ZWV.46
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Missa Dei filii (Missa ultimarum secundat) ZWV.20 for soloists, chorus and orche
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Missa Dei filii (Missa ultimarum secundat) ZWV.20 for soloists, chorus and orche
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Te Deum in D major ZWV.146 for chorus and orchestra
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Te Deum in D major ZWV.146 for chorus and orchestra
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Missa Divi Xaverii, ZWV.12 (Benedictus & Hosanna)
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Missa Divi Xaverii, ZWV.12 (Benedictus & Hosanna)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Missa sanctissimae trinitatis in A minor ZWV.17; Sanctus
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Missa sanctissimae trinitatis in A minor ZWV.17; Sanctus
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Litaniae de Venerabili Sacramento
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Litaniae de Venerabili Sacramento
Jan Dismas Zelenka
De profundis (Psalm 129) in D minor
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De profundis (Psalm 129) in D minor
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Cum Sancto Spiritu from Missa Dei filii (Missa ultimarum secundat) ZWV.20
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Cum Sancto Spiritu from Missa Dei filii (Missa ultimarum secundat) ZWV.20
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Capriccio 4 in A major
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Capriccio 4 in A major
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Allegro from Sonata IV
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Allegro from Sonata IV
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Sinfonia a 8 in A minor ZWV.189
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Sinfonia a 8 in A minor ZWV.189
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Missa votiva in E minor ZWV.18; Gratias agimus
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Missa votiva in E minor ZWV.18; Gratias agimus
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Magnificat in C, ZWV.107
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Magnificat in C, ZWV.107
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Trio Sonata no 4 in G minor for violin, oboe, bassoon and basso continuo
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Trio Sonata no 4 in G minor for violin, oboe, bassoon and basso continuo
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris & Quoniam tu solus Sanctus from Missa Dei Filii
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Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris & Quoniam tu solus Sanctus from Missa Dei Filii
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Confitebor tibi Domine, motet in C minor (Psalm 110)
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Confitebor tibi Domine, motet in C minor (Psalm 110)
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