Graduate Choir Rediscovers Zelenka

Image of choir

In its final Great Hall concert for the year, on 1 December, the Sydney University Graduate Choir, conducted by its Music Director, Christopher Bowen OAM, will present an unfamiliar masterpiece, the Missa Dei Patris, by the seventeenth century Czech composer, Jan Zelenka (1679-1745).

The concert will take place in the Great Hall, starting at 5.00 pm, and will also include another baroque masterpiece, Antonio Vivaldi’s very popular Gloria.

2013 has so far been an outstanding year for the Choir. It has given successful performances of two of the most famous and challenging works of the choral repertoire, the Verdi Requiem with a large guest choir in the Sydney Town Hall in April, and the St John Passion of J. S. Bach in the Great Hall in August.

Zelenka’s work takes the Choir into different territory entirely. Zelenka is the most important baroque composer from Bohemia. He was a close contemporary of Bach and was employed at the Saxon court in Dresden, where Bach aspired, unsuccessfully, to work. His music is admired for its harmonic inventiveness and counterpoint but is, nevertheless, still not well known. This promises to be a most rewarding concert for music-lovers.