Zelenka: Missa Omnium Sanctorum – a true Baroque masterwork

In an ideal world, the works of Jan Dismas Zelenka would be as familiar as those of Johann Sebastian Bach, or Georg Philipp Telemann. Both were friends and colleagues of Zelenka, and both admired his work.

The 1741 Missa Omnium Sanctorum is one such work. It’s a major work (over 50 minutes long), and an important one. Zelenka was not only the court composer in Dresden but the official church composer as well.

Zelenka, like Bach, uses the text to guide the direction of the melodies. And Zelenka is a master of counterpoint. I place his fugal choruses somewhere between Bach’s and Handel’s. They have the complexity of the former and the tunefulness of the latter.

In fact, tunefulness could describe this entire work. Zelena’s arias are quite appealing, seemingly simple in structure. The soloists are equally appealing.

Tenor Cyrila Auvity sings with a rich, creamy tone. The voice of countertenor Filippo Mineccia, featured in the “Misere,” has a bell-like purity that’s quite beautiful.

Ruben Jais delivers an interpretation that I’d call joyous. From the bouncy dance-like “Gloria” through to the exuberant “Agnus Dei,” this mass was just plain fun.

The ensemble and chorus are close-miked, with minimal decay. That’s a good thing. It keeps the dense contrapuntal passages sounding clear, and lends an air of lightness to the music.

A wonderful performance of a Baroque masterwork.

Jan Dismas Zelenka: Missa Omnium Sanctorum, ZWV 21
Carlotta Colombo, soprano; Filippo Mineccia, alto; Cyril Auvity, tenor; Lukas Zeman, bass
laBarocca; Ruben Jais, director
Glossa Music GCD 924103

More Recent Posts

  • Joseph Bodin de Boismortier Chamber Music all business

    Tags: , , , , , ,

    Sometimes it’s easy to forget that music is a business — even classical music. It’s something Joseph Bodin de Boismortier always remembered. And it made him wealthy. Boismortier was active in the early 1700s and a contemporary of Rameau. He was one of the first composers to be successful without a patron. Louis XV granted […]

  • Dec 19: WTJU Holiday Party and Vinyl Takeover at Potters Craft Cider

    Come celebrate the season with your favorite community radio station! On Thursday, December 19th, 6 – 9 p.m., WTJU is taking over Potter’s Craft Cider, at their grand new tasting room at 1350 Arrowhead Valley Rd, just a few minutes south of Charlottesville on Route 29. This year’s WTJU Holiday Party coincides with our Vinyl Takeover series, […]

  • The Celebratory Suites of Pancho Vladigerov

    Tags: , ,

    In Bulgaria, Pancho Vladigerov is almost considered the founder of classical music. Like Bedrich Smetana and Antonin Dvorak, he deftly blended his country’s folk music with Western classical traditions. And like those composers, he created music of both national and international appeal. The characteristic odd meters of Slavic folk music gives Vladigerov’s compositions a bubbling […]

  • Angela on the Arts stops by All That Jazz, Dec 5

    Trumpeter John D’earth and bass clarinetist Michelle Oliva will join Rus Perry on All That Jazz to present their new release “Within.”  Together with violist Bonnie Gordon, D’earth and Oliva make up the improvisational trio Angela On The Arts.

  • New Jazz Adds – 12/3/2019

    New Jazz Adds – 12/3/2019 Darren Barrett – The EVI Sessions – Mr. Steiner (Self-produced): “On Mr. Steiner, Barrett delves into the world of synthesis guru Nyle Steiner, credited for the invention of the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) as well as the EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument), made popular by saxophonist Michael Brecker. Created in the 70s, the […]

  • New Blues & Soul Adds – 12/3/2019

    New Blues & Soul Adds – 12/3/2019 New Blues: Diane Blue – Look For The Light (Regina Royale Records): “Ms. Blue is a soul-stirring vocalist, skillful harmonica player whose powerful delivery of Soul, Blues & R&B is captivating. Her performances are charismatic and heartfelt, whether fronting her own world-class band or singing alongside master Bluesman Ronnie […]