5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is an enjoyable disc of very good sacred music by an under-appreciated contemporary of Bach. Zelenka wrote complex counterpoint which was well received in the early part of his career in his native Czechoslovakia but became regarded as rather old-fashioned in Dresden where he spent the later part of his career. This means that his music was not nearly as well-known as it should have been. In fact it is skilful, tuneful and capable of being charming, beautiful and moving in places. He's no Bach or Handel, but Zelenka was a very good composer and I find his music enjoyable and rewarding.
The King's consort do it proud here. They were a superb ensemble and many of their recordings remain the benchmark years after they were made. This one, from 2003, features a lineup of star soloists including Robin Blaze, Carolyn Sampson and Michael George and the others and the chorus give an excellent performance, as do the orchestra. It's exemplary singing and playing in this repertoire and makes the music really shine.
This would be a very good place to start with Zelenka if you don't know him, and would sit very well in a collection of him, too. The recorded sound is excellent and the notes full and interesting with full texts and translations. Very warmly recommended all round.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2014
A new composer for us, and a bit of a revelation. Beautiful music, expertly performed, with the benefit of Carolyn Sampson's lovely voice.