Bach and Zelenka
Contemporaries from different worlds
J.S. Bach – Zelenka
Piia Maunula, oboe
Katariina Malmberg, oboe
Jani Sunnarborg, bassoon
Anna-Maaria Oramo, harpsichord
Of the composers in today’s program, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) does not need any introductions, but the Bohemian Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745) is less well known to many.
While Bach’s works throughout his long career as a composer mostly represented the traditional style of the era, Zelenka’s compositions were atypical in time, even experimental and modern. Zelenka composed a lot of orchestral and vocal music but also a series of six extremely virtuoso trio sonatas. With the exception of one composed for violin and oboe, the sonatas have been written for two oboes, a bassoon and a continuo, and two of them will be played in this concert, numbers 4 and 5. Between the sonatas, Bach's English series for harpsichord will be heard in the programme.
Bach and Zelenka, who worked as a double bass player in Dresden, knew each other, and Bach even confessed to being a great admirer of Zelenka's works. So the men respected each other, but as persons they can be thought of as quite different. The story goes that bassist Jan Dismas Zelenka sometimes was decided to be left out of the orchestra during a tour because one was genuinely worried about the possibility that he would no longer return with the orchestra to Dresden but make own plans. In the case of Bach, this danger would hardly have existed.
Duration: 1 h (no intermission)