Music From Eighteenth-Century Prage
Jan Dimas Zelenka
Semeradova / Collegium Marianum
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an Dismas Zelenka, the most distinctive figure of Czech Baroque music, no longer requires any introduction. His Prague works, however, have yet to be paid much attention. And unjustly so. The three sepolcri (cantatas intended for performance on Good Friday at the Holy Sepulchre) represent the earliest music of Zelenka's that has been preserved, yet they are already truly singular pieces encompassing all the traits of their creator's remarkable compositional style. Zelenka created the pieces for Prague's Klementinum, the oldest Jesuit college in Bohemia, and in a unique manner they serve to document the copious music performances that took place at the Saint Salvator Church, one of the most significant places on the "music map" of Baroque Prague. In 1709, Zelenka conducted at this church the performance of the first sepolcro. Three centuries later, the cantatas were recorded for the very first time (at the church located at the opposite end of the Charles Bridge) by Collegium Marianum, one of the finest Czech and European Baroque ensembles, together with four outstanding soloists. Another instalment in the successful Music from Eighteenth-Century Prague series, and another chapter of Jan Dismas Zelenka's remarkable oeuvre presented to the listener.