Jan Dismas Zelenka

Gosh I love Zelenka.

Tonight I went over to Pikacello and Hoshikaji’s house for dinner. During the course of the evening the conversation turned to music. I am an occasional oboe player, while Pikacello is a professional cellist and Hoshikaji is a violinist. I happened to mention one Jan Dismas Zelenka, my favorite baroque composer, and before I knew it, I was fetching my oboe so that we could sight-read his third trio sonata. AND GOSH IT WAS FUN.

Back in college, I played the first trio sonata (two oboes, bassoon, and continuo). Man, that was an amazing experience. There’s this stretch in the second movement in the first oboe part where you can’t breathe for like a minute. It’s so good. I seriously loved playing for stuff like that. (Someday I will regale you all with my tale of Pasculli cadenzas, but that day is not today.)

They’re all amazing pieces. This is a superb recording, headed by the great Heinz Holliger, or you can listen to them here on YouTube.

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