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Zelenka: Trio Sonatas / Glaetzner, Sonstevold


Release Date: 11/29/2005 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 1354   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jan Dismas Zelenka
Performer:  Knut SönstevoldBurkhard GlaetznerIngo GoritzkiSiegfried Pank,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 52 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

At the height of the Baroque era, few European courts could mount an artistic challenge to the cultural opulence of Dresden, the seat of power of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. The city was referred to as “Florence on the Elbe,” and the court musical establishment boasted some of the finest musicians and composers of the day, including violinist Johann Piesendel, lutenist SylviusWeiss, flutist Pierre Buffardin, and double bass-player Jan Zelenka. The array of composers employed by and/or associated with the court was equally impressive: Johann Hasse, Johann Heinichen, and Gottfried Janitsch lived and worked there but Telemann and Vivaldi were among a number of composers commissioned to write music for the Read more Elector’s ensemble.

Even though Zelenka’s music was a product of the Baroque, his musical syntax was a bit odd. His music displays a recurring desire for experimentation that amazes and even confounds those who think they know the Baroque repertoire. Zelenka’s insightful, yet energetic style is dotted with melodic and harmonic idiosyncrasies that consistently attract attention and even turn the head of the naive auditor. The ear is beset by a variety of sounds and ideas, including audacious chromatics and by demanding solo writing that over two centuries later elicits the utmost respect for the musicians for whom these works were penned.

The trio sonatas were written in Vienna around 1721 or 1722, near the end of Zelenka’s musical apprenticeship. This makes them contemporary with Zelenka’s Lamentations of Jeremiah and the Responses for Holy Week. There are a number of individualistic fingerprints found in these works, but one of the most interesting and innovative aspects is Zelenka’s use of the continuo. At numerous points, the bassoon abandons the bass line and begins to offer its own comments, thereby creating a fourth voice, expanding the texture into the dominion of the Sonata a quattro.

Originality is the byword in this set of works, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll comment only on the fifth sonata. It begins with a bold and striking unison passage that eventually appears to amble about aimlessly, as if Zelenka were marking time while attempting to ascertain where to go and what to do next. Suddenly, the seeming dilemma is solved and the movement presses forward into a maze of rhythmic and harmonic complexities that continue to perplex. The slow movement is built on an expansive quasi recitativo passage that time and again displays the musical equivalent of amnesia by drifting away from the expected cadence and into another harmonic realm while, in the finale, the melodic material reappears in a constantly shifting way that hints at a rondo-like structure.

While Zelenka’s stock has increased dramatically in recent years, premiere recordings of his work have slowed considerably. There are several CDs of these sonatas and at least two recordings of his complete orchestral works. Although the need for competing recordings of these sonatas has diminished, this re-release of material originally issued by Edel in what was East Germany in 1988, is welcome. However, this set faces stiff competition from ECM’s modern-instrument recording headlined by Heinz Holliger and Maurice Bourge. Even so, Glaetzner and his colleagues have no reason to balk, for theirs is also an undeniably satisfying release, full of animation and conviction. Beautifully manicured, these passionate and sympathetic accounts compel admiration for all of the performers, not just Glaetzner and Goritzki. Even though modern instruments are employed, these sessions from two decades ago are squarely in the artistic mainstream and void of stylistic idiosyncrasies simply for effect.

This is a tough call; while artistically Berlin Classics and ECM are on the same plane, the sound on the ECM is a shade more mellow and therefore to my liking, but you can bet dollars to donuts that I’ll revisit the Berlin Classics regularly.

-- Michael Carter, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Trio Sonatas (6) for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Basso Continuo, ZWV 181: no 1 in F major by Jan Dismas Zelenka
Performer:  Knut Sönstevold (Bassoon), Burkhard Glaetzner (Oboe), Ingo Goritzki (Oboe),
Siegfried Pank (Viola da gamba), Walter Heinz Bernstein (Harpsichord), Achim Beyer (Violone)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1722; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1984 
Venue:  Studio Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 17 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
Trio Sonatas (6) for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Basso Continuo, ZWV 181: no 2 in G minor by Jan Dismas Zelenka
Performer:  Siegfried Pank (Viola da gamba), Knut Sönstevold (Bassoon), Ingo Goritzki (Oboe),
Walter Heinz Bernstein (Harpsichord), Achim Beyer (Violone), Burkhard Glaetzner (Oboe)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1722; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1984 
Venue:  Studio Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 22 Minutes 2 Secs. 
3.
Trio Sonatas (6) for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Basso Continuo, ZWV 181: no 3 in B flat major by Jan Dismas Zelenka
Performer:  Siegfried Pank (Viola da gamba), Achim Beyer (Violone), Walter Heinz Bernstein (Harpsichord),
Burkhard Glaetzner (Oboe), Knut Sönstevold (Bassoon), Ingo Goritzki (Oboe)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1722; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1984 
Venue:  Studio Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 17 Minutes 6 Secs. 
4.
Trio Sonatas (6) for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Basso Continuo, ZWV 181: no 4 in G minor by Jan Dismas Zelenka
Performer:  Walter Heinz Bernstein (Harpsichord), Achim Beyer (Violone), Siegfried Pank (Viola da gamba),
Ingo Goritzki (Oboe), Knut Sönstevold (Bassoon), Burkhard Glaetzner (Oboe)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1722; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1984 
Venue:  Studio Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 22 Minutes 5 Secs. 
5.
Trio Sonatas (6) for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Basso Continuo, ZWV 181: no 5 in F major by Jan Dismas Zelenka
Performer:  Walter Heinz Bernstein (Harpsichord), Achim Beyer (Violone), Knut Sönstevold (Bassoon),
Siegfried Pank (Viola da gamba), Ingo Goritzki (Oboe), Burkhard Glaetzner (Oboe)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1722; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1984 
Venue:  Studio Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 16 Minutes 46 Secs. 
6.
Trio Sonatas (6) for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Basso Continuo, ZWV 181: no 6 in C minor by Jan Dismas Zelenka
Performer:  Walter Heinz Bernstein (Harpsichord), Achim Beyer (Violone), Ingo Goritzki (Oboe),
Siegfried Pank (Viola da gamba), Burkhard Glaetzner (Oboe), Knut Sönstevold (Bassoon)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1722; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1984 
Venue:  Studio Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 16 Minutes 25 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Trio Sonata No. 1 in F major, ZWV 181: I. Adagio ma non troppo
Trio Sonata No. 1 in F major, ZWV 181: II. Allegro
Trio Sonata No. 1 in F major, ZWV 181: III. Larghetto
Trio Sonata No. 1 in F major, ZWV 181: IV. Allegro assai
Trio Sonata No. 2 in G minor, ZWV 181: I. Andante
Trio Sonata No. 2 in G minor, ZWV 181: II. Allegro
Trio Sonata No. 2 in G minor, ZWV 181: III. Andante
Trio Sonata No. 2 in G minor, ZWV 181: IV. Allegro assai
Trio Sonata No. 3 in B flat major, ZWV 181: I. Adagio
Trio Sonata No. 3 in B flat major, ZWV 181: II. Allegro
Trio Sonata No. 3 in B flat major, ZWV 181: III. Largo
Trio Sonata No. 3 in B flat major, ZWV 181: IV. Allegro - Tempo giusto
Trio Sonata No. 4 in G minor, ZWV 181: I. Andante
Trio Sonata No. 4 in G minor, ZWV 181: II. Allegro
Trio Sonata No. 4 in G minor, ZWV 181: III. Adagio
Trio Sonata No. 4 in G minor, ZWV 181: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Trio Sonata No. 5 in F major, ZWV 181: I. Allegro
Trio Sonata No. 5 in F major, ZWV 181: II. Adagio
Trio Sonata No. 5 in F major, ZWV 181: III. Allegro
Trio Sonata No. 6 in C minor, ZWV 181: I. Andante
Trio Sonata No. 6 in C minor, ZWV 181: II. Allegro
Trio Sonata No. 6 in C minor, ZWV 181: III. Adagio
Trio Sonata No. 6 in C minor, ZWV 181: IV. Allegro

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