Zelenka: Sacred Music

Czech-born Jan Dismas Zelenka was by all accounts one of Baroque music’s trickier customers—fervently religious but completely lacking in courtly graces. Combine this with a tendency to throw out the rulebook when it came to harmonic convention and it’s hardly surprising that he was underappreciated in his lifetime. Yet here is some of the most pungently exciting writing of the Baroque, as individual as that of his near-contemporary, Johann Sebastian Bach. The very opening of Zelenka’s Litaniae sets out his stall and Robert King and his eponymous Consort make the most of its startling qualities. But he is a composer to tug at the heartstrings too, nowhere more so than in the Salve regina, ravishingly sung by a young Carolyn Sampson.

CDH55424  72 minutes 52 seconds
‘Constantly fascinating to listen to. Especially when performed as beautifully and with such evident care and affection as it is on Robert King’s new CD … Zelenka’s curious music could scarcely ...
‘Performances are sensitive and stylish in ways that we have come to expect from this group’ (BBC Music Magazine)
‘Robert King and his period forces give performances it would be hard to beat’ (The Daily Telegraph)