Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses

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    Six Ave regina coelorum settings (1737) by Jan Dismas Zelenka (ZWV 128): context and critical edition
    Kiernan, Frederic Murray ( 2013)
    Bohemian composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679–1745) is now regarded as one of the Baroque period’s leading musical figures, yet five of his six settings of the Marian antiphon Ave regina coelorum (ZWV 128), composed in 1737, remain unedited and unpublished. Furthermore, very little is known about the context in which these works were composed, or the people who would have performed them. This thesis addresses these issues by providing a context to, and critical edition of, Zelenka’s Ave regina coelorum settings (ZWV 128). Part I gives background information on the composer and the court of Dresden where he worked, and discusses the influence of Viennese liturgico-musical practices in that city. This is followed by an examination and description of the style of each work, and, using the Viennese model, allocation to the categories A Cappella, Ordinary or Solemn. This categorisation strongly suggests that the court Kapellknaben would have performed these works, and a study of this ensemble then follows, based on primary source reports, along with a proposed list of members in 1737 and 1738. Part I thus shows that an understanding of the context of these works has significant implications for our understanding of their style, and presents new information about the lives and activities of the people who were almost certainly responsible for the performance of these antiphons. Part II of the thesis presents a critical edition of the six settings, which, with one exception, is the first edition of these works. A catalogue of the known repertoire of Marian antiphons associated with the Dresden Catholic court church during the period ca. 1708–65 is given in the appendix, along with information on the former and current locations of performance materials, and facsimile copies of ZWV 128.