ZELENKA Music from 18th Century Prague. Melodrama de Sancto Wenceslao ZWV 175, Musica Florea, Musica Aeterna, Ensemble Philidor, Boni Pueri. Supraphon 2cds

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Zelenka Music From 18Th Century Prague Supraphon 2Cds

JAN DISMAS ZELENKA

Music from 18th Century Prague

Melodrama de Sancto Wenceslao ZWV 175

Musica Florea; Musica Aeterna; Ensemble Philidor; Boni Pueri

CD 1

1/ I. Symphonia

Allegro assai 5:52

Prolusio 18:54

2/ II. Chorus. Allegro (Fortitudo mea)

Fortitudo tenor, 5 solo voices, chorus 4:21

3/ III. Aria. Allegro (Hæc coeli); Fortitudo tenor 3:45

4/ IV. Recitativus (Hem! Quæ ista?); Suspicio alto, Zelus Eucharisticus soprano 0:48

5/ V. Aria. Andante (En! Pietatis adamas); Zelus Eucharisticus soprano 2:58

6/ VI. Recitativus (Dura certamina); Majestas bass 0:28

7/ VII. Aria. Allegro (Huc palmas deferte); Majestas bass 2:54

8/ VIII. Recitativus (Hæc summa gloriæ); Fortitudo tenor, Providentia Divina soprano 0:45

9/ IX. Aria. Allegro (Augusta domus Austriæ); Providentia Divina soprano 2:53

Actus I 14:48

10/ X. Aria. Allegro (I, Phoebe, umbras pelle); countertenor 2:35

11/ XI. Recitativus (En, Fidei æmula); Fides tenor 0:33

12/ XII. Aria. Andante (Huc, Virtutes, festinate); Fides tenor (attacca) 3:10

13/ XIII. Chorus. Allegro (Eja, de figmentis); Virtutes relique 1:19

14/ XIV. Recitativus (En! Pietati comes); Pietas soprano, Religio countertenor 0:25

15/ XV. Aria (Jam calle secundo); Pietas soprano, Religio countertenor 2:09

16/ XVI. Ritornello. Più andante 1:15

17/ XVII. Recitativus (Nunquid non messis tritici est?); Pietas soprano, Religio countertenor 0:18

18/ XVIII. Aria (Meto culmos, lego spicas); Pietas soprano, Religio countertenor 3:03

CD 2

Actus II 33:23

1/ XIX. Recitativus (Quicunque glorificaverit me); Justitia Divina tenor 0:22

2/ XX. Aria. Allegro (Angelicæ mentes); Justitia Divina tenor 4:55

3/ XXI. Chorus (En, prompti ad mandata) 2:37

4/ XXII. Aria. Adagio (Ave, Deus recondite); Angelus soprano 7:32

5/ XXIII. Recitativus (Proh! Quæ aëris inclementia); tenor 0:51

6/ XXIV. Aria. Andante (Veni, Auster, lux perennis); tenor 4:47

7/ XXV. Recitativus (Per me reges regnant); Sapientia Divina bass, Providentia Divina soprano 0:34

8/ XXVI. Aria. Allegro assai (Exurge, Providentia!); Sapientia Divina bass 4:13

9/ XXVII. Recitativus (Corona gloriæ in manu Domini); Providentia Divina soprano 0:18

10/ XXVIII. Aria. Andante (Huc, coeli principes); Providentia Divina soprano 7:13

Actus III 13:23

11/ XXIX. Aria. Allegro (Reviresce, effloresce, pacis olea); countertenor 3:01

12/ XXX. Recitativus (Aptate tympana); Musicus tenor 0:33

13/ XXXI. Aria and Chorus (Vive, regna, Ferdinande); Musicus tenor 2:08

14/ XXXII. Aria. Allegro (Nova gaudia, nova jubila); bass 2:22

15/ XXXIII. Aria. Allegro (En, duplo sole Czechia); soprano 5:18

Epilogus 8:33

16/ XXXIV. Recitativus (Eja! Votivi omnia secundent plausus!); tenor 0:30

17/ XXXV. Aria. Allegero (Exurge, Martis gloria); tenor 3:21

18/ XXXVI. Chorus. Vivace (Vos Oriens adoret); 5 voices 4:42

The coronation of Charles VI as Czech king in Prague was the event of 1723. Besides the Imperial Kapellmeister J. J. Fux’s monumental opera Costanza e Fortezza, the greatest attention was paid to the melodrama Sub olea pacis, created by Fux’s pupil Jan Dismas Zelenka, who at the time had been doublebassist in the Dresden court orchestra for more than a decade. In a succession of allegories, the composer guides us through the history of the Czech lands and evidences the genealogically founded title of the Habsburg royal couple to the crown of Bohemia, as well as their reign’s benefit for the Czech people.

Owing to its quality, the music clearly eclipses this encomiastic work’s other components. Zelenka ingeniously works with instrumentation and frequently makes effective use of obbligato solo instruments (including the chalumeau).

Over 150 performers appeared in the play, among them the thirteen-year-old František Benda. The performance at the Jesuit Klementinum met with a tremendous response among the noble audience and the royal couple alike, while the Jesuits sold over 4,000 (!) printed librettos. The work’s most recent and similarly spectacular staging was at Prague Castle in 2000, performed by leading Czech and other European ensembles. This critically acclaimed recording was made on that very occasion. Prague 1723 – Zelenka’s grandiose music in tribute to the newly crowned Czech king.

Supraphon Records 2cds SU41132

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