Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Easter Mass
Jan Dismas Zelenka, (16 October 1679 – 23 December 1745) 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.
However, much of Jan Dismas Zelenka’s life remains veiled in mystery. He never married or had children. We have no idea what he looked like, and not a single piece of personal correspondence was preserved for posterity. His simple tombstone at the Catholic cemetery in Dresden where he is buried says little about the man who left behind an impressive musical legacy. Only his music can give us more clues to his personality. His Easter Mass, or Missa Paschalis, composed in 1726, saw its modern-day premiere in 2013, when it was performed by Prague’s Ensemble Inégal.