Summer Concert

6:30pm, Sun, 23 Jun 2024

  • Event Details
  • Type of event: Concert
    Start time: 6:30pm
    End time: 8:30pm
    Venue: St Martin's Church
    132-4 Mortimer Road
    NW10 5SN
      See map below
    Ticket pricing/options: General Admission: £15
    Children under 12: free
    Tickets: Book now

    Zelenka: Missa Votiva

    An opportunity to hear a neglected masterpiece

    Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679 – 1745) was born in Central Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. After studying in Prague and Vienna he obtained a post playing double bass in the court orchestra of the Elector of Saxony, in Dresden, and later became Kapellmeister there.  

    His music combines a highly effective use of counterpoint – hence his nickname, the “Bohemian Bach” – with intense rhythmic energy. He was a prolific composer, especially of church music, and was much admired by his contemporaries, including J.S. Bach. However, after his death the court kept the manuscripts of his compositions under lock and key, which partly explains why they have been neglected until relatively recently.

    Towards the end of his life Zelenka embarked on – but never completed – a cycle of twelve Mass settings, his Misse Ultimae. The Missa Votiva is the third of these, and is of special significance in that it was apparently written in fulfilment of a vow that Zelenka had made to God during a bout of sickness, that he would compose a Mass if he recovered.

    The Mass is on a grand scale, comprising no fewer than twenty movements, encompassing a variety of musical forms and moods, and making full use of the forces for which it is scored: choir, orchestra and four soloists. A recent review called Missa Votiva “nothing less than a lost masterpiece, strongly recommended for your discovery”.

    For this special occasion, Queen’s Park Singers are delighted to be joined by the Asyla Ensemble, a chamber orchestra that specializes in Baroque repertoire and performs on period instruments.


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