The Baroque Music of Zelenka

Jan Dismus Zelenka [1679-1745] is a Bohemian Baroque composer that really should be better well known. I recently ran across a 5 disc set from DG-Archive of Zelenka’s orchestral works. These are recordings from the 1970’s, and at the time were the only real recordings of Zelenka’s works that were readily available. The set of 6 Sonatas by Heinz Holliger on oboe were especially well-received at the time, and he has remade them for ECM [a great set] but for about the price of the ECM set you get the Sonatas plus 3 discs of other works on DG with the Camerata Bern.

Zelenka’s works are not Baroque background music but charming and sometimes very creative compositions. There are nods to Bach and Vivaldi and even Telemann in some of the movements, but on the whole an individual set, well worth checking out if you are a fan of Baroque.

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