Jan Dismas Zelenka

Born 16 October 1679. Died 23 December 1745
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 Tracks

Jan Dismas Zelenka
Missa Sancti Josephi (Laudamus te)
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Missa Sancti Josephi (Laudamus te)

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Jan Dismas Zelenka
Missa Nativitatis Domini, ZWV.8
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Missa Nativitatis Domini, ZWV.8
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
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Missa Dei filii (Missa ultimarum secundat) ZWV.20
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Sonata No 5 in F major (Allegro)
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Sonata No 5 in F major (Allegro)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Sinfonia concertante a 8, ZWV 189
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Sinfonia concertante a 8, ZWV 189

Sinfonia concertante a 8, ZWV 189

Performer
Orchestra
La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basle
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
Benedictus; Hosanna (Missa Divi Xaverii, ZWV 12)
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Benedictus; Hosanna (Missa Divi Xaverii, ZWV 12)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Sanctus (Missa Divi Xaverii, ZWV.12)
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Sanctus (Missa Divi Xaverii, ZWV.12)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Hipocondrie a 7 in A major
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Hipocondrie a 7 in A major
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Trio Sonata No 3 in B flat major
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Trio Sonata No 3 in B flat major
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Suite in F major
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Suite in F major

Suite in F major

Ensemble
Les Ambassadeurs
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Missa Sancti Josephi (Laudamus te)
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Missa Sancti Josephi (Laudamus te)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Sinfonia à 8 in A minor, ZWV 189 (1st mvt)
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Sinfonia à 8 in A minor, ZWV 189 (1st mvt)
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
Trio Sonata No. 5 in F major (3rd mvt)
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Trio Sonata No. 5 in F major (3rd mvt)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
De profundis ZWV.96
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De profundis ZWV.96
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Magnificat ZWV.108
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Magnificat ZWV.108
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Lauda Jerusalem ZWV.104
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Lauda Jerusalem ZWV.104
Jan Dismas Zelenka
In exitu Israel ZWV.83
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In exitu Israel ZWV.83
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Dixit Dominus ZWV.68
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Dixit Dominus ZWV.68
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Nisi Dominus
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Nisi Dominus
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Trio Sonata No 5 in F major (1st mvt)
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Trio Sonata No 5 in F major (1st mvt)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Trio Sonata No 5 in F major (3rd mvt)
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Trio Sonata No 5 in F major (3rd mvt)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Sonata No 4 in G minor (4th mvt, Allegro ma non troppo)
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Sonata No 4 in G minor (4th mvt, Allegro ma non troppo)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Trio Sonata No.5 - 3rd Movement Allegro
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Trio Sonata No.5 - 3rd Movement Allegro

Trio Sonata No.5 - 3rd Movement Allegro

Ensemble
Chamber Orchestra of Europe Wind Soloists
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Ave crucis, ave lignum (Deus dux fortissime, ZWV 60)
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Ave crucis, ave lignum (Deus dux fortissime, ZWV 60)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Tu nostra es vera, tu gloriae spes (Deus dux fortissime, ZWV 60)
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Tu nostra es vera, tu gloriae spes (Deus dux fortissime, ZWV 60)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Capriccio IV in A major (2nd mvt)
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Capriccio IV in A major (2nd mvt)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Hipocondrie a 7 concertanti in A major, ZWV 187
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Hipocondrie a 7 concertanti in A major, ZWV 187
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Lamentatio II (Lamentationes pro die Mercurii Sancto)
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Lamentatio II (Lamentationes pro die Mercurii Sancto)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Sanctus (Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis, ZWV.17)
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Sanctus (Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis, ZWV.17)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Miserere II (Miserere in C minor, ZWV 57)
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Miserere II (Miserere in C minor, ZWV 57)

Miserere II (Miserere in C minor, ZWV 57)

Ensemble
Fiori Musicali Choir & Orchestra
Conductor
Penelope Rapson.
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Sub tuum praesidium in C minor, ZWV 157/2
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Sub tuum praesidium in C minor, ZWV 157/2
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Kyrie eleison (Litaniae de Sancto Xaverio, ZWV 156)
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Kyrie eleison (Litaniae de Sancto Xaverio, ZWV 156)
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Capriccio No 1 in D major
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Capriccio No 1 in D major
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Capriccio (ZWV.184) in F major (1718)
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Capriccio (ZWV.184) in F major (1718)
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