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177—“The Catholic Bach”: Jan Dismas Zelenka

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 30, 2024 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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Jan Dismas Zelenka was a Bohemian Catholic baroque composer who has at times been called “The Catholic Bach” because his best compositions are on par with those of J.S. Bach, who indeed knew and esteemed Zelenka. This episode covers Zelenka’s career at the Catholic court chapel in Dresden with its grand liturgies inspired by Habsburg piety and Jesuit aspirations to evangelize the Protestants of Saxony.

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Janice Stockigt, Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745): A Bohemian Musician at the Court of Dresden

Music heard in this episode:

The first movements of the trio sonatas in F major and C minor, ZWV 181/5 and 181/6, found on the album Zelenka: Trio Sonatas Nos. 1-6, performed by Ensemble Zefiro—zelenka-trio-sonatas-nos-1-6

Nisi Dominus, ZWV 92, performed by Ensemble Inegal

Miserere in C minor, ZWV 57, performed by Il Fondamento/Paul Dombrecht

Missa votiva, ZWV 18, performed by Collegium 1704/Václav Luks

Litaniae Lauretanae “salus infirmorum”, ZWV 152, performed by Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Neue Hofkapelle München/Peter Dijkstra

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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