Easter show: Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Cantata sacra Il serpente di bronzo

On this week’s Sunday Music show, we spotlight a classic piece of Easter music - Jan Dismas Zelenka’s ‘Cantata sacra Il serpente di bronzo’. Composed in the year 1730, the piece was first performed on Good Friday of that year in Dresden, Germany. Performed at the Saxonian-Polish court, the piece is an important contribution to Catholic sacred music.

Jan Dismas Zelenka | Photo: archive of Charles University

Born in 1679 in the Bohemian village of Louňovi, Jan Dismas Zelenka, dubbed the “Czech Bach”, is one of the most significant Baroque composers. Yet his music was largely forgotten after his death and was only rediscovered more than a century later. Today all his works are available in digitized form and have become increasingly popular with the public.

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