WORKS: Capriccio No. 1 in D; Capriccio No. 5 in G; Simphonie a 8 concertanti in A minor
PERFORMER: Das Neu-Eröffnete Orchestra/Jürgen Sonnentheil
CATALOGUE NO: 999 629-2
Zelenka (1679-1745) was a Bohemian who was engaged by the Elector of Saxony at Dresden. He later studied with the famous contrapuntist JJ Fux in Vienna. Apart from writing Church Music for the Catholic Court at Dresden, Zelenka has recently become famous through his spectacular horn writing for the ‘corno da caccia’ (valveless hunting horn) including the highest notes for the instrument ever written (except for Haydn). The two Capricci in G and D on this interesting disc include specimens of this incredible horn writing played superbly by I van der Zwart and R Vosseler. There is also a more conventionally scored Simphonie composed in Prague and evidently under ther influence of Antonio Vivaldi, who had direct relations with the Dresden Court, where Zelenka must have heard the music of this famous Italian.
Well recorded, this CD is worth investigations by all lovers of the Baroque. The notes by Wolfganf Horn, are excellent. I do not find 58’26” a particularly generous timing: there was easily room for another entire capriccio on this disc. Nevertheless, this is a relatively small point in judging these really esthonising performances. Horn playing sus as this would have been totally unthinkable 50 years ago. HC Robbins Landon