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Carolus IV: Rex et Imperator

Carolus IV: Rex et Imperator

Recorded in the Church of Saint James the Greater, Zbraslav, Prague, September 21-24, 2015

Charles and France

1. Cantio Plebs Domini

2. Alleluia Virga Iesse floruit

3. Sequentia Ave virgo singularis

4. Guillaume de Machaut – Dame je sui cilz qui vueil / Fins cuer doulz

Charles and Relics – The Feast Day of the Holy Lance and Nails

5. Antiphona In splendore

6. Hymnus Pange lingua

7. Lectio de homilia beati Augustini

8. Responsorium Vibrans miles

Charles and the University

9. Cantio Salve mundi Domina

10. Je languis

11. Cantio Rubus incombustibilis

12. Cantio Prima declinatio

13. Sois tart

Charles and Courtly Love

14. Mülich von Prag – Nun siht man aber beide

15. Otep myrhy

16. Anjelíku rozkochaný

17. Dřěvo se listem odiévá

Charles and Slavic Liturgy

18. Reading for the feast day of SS Cyril and Methodius

19. Alleluia Veselite se

Charles and the Worship of Saints

20. Responsorium Letare pia Aquensis ecclesia

21. Stola Jacob

22. Svatý Václave

23. Antiphona Laus alme sit Trinitati

24. Quae est ista

25. Responsorium Ecce Sigismundus

26. Motetus Ave coronata

Hana Blažíková (soprano), Jakub Kydlíček (recorders), Monika Reslerová (recorders) & Jakub Eben (percussion)

Schola Gregoriana Pragensis, David Eben

From the cathedral, university and street: a fascinating picture of the musical life in Prague under Charles IV.

Under the reign of Charles IV (1316-1378), Prague acquired its magical beauty. The astonishing wealth of art and architecture that originated at the time is evident at first glance, yet the king also attended to the blossoming of the city’s spiritual and cultural life. While St Vitus Cathedral was the most prominent centre of music, variegated genres also flourished at the Prague university (Latin sacred songs and French ars nova) and at the Emmaus Monastery, founded by Charles with the aim of pursuing the Slavonic liturgy. Czech songs (The Bundle of Myrrh, The Wood Clads Itself with Leaves), which linked up to the tradition of German Minnesang, were performed in Prague too. Generally known is Charles IV’s reverence for saints and the attendant passion for collecting relics of holy men. The king even initiated the introduction of the Feast Day of the Holy Lance and Nails, part of whose chant repertoire is featured on this album, recorded by the renowned Schola Gregoriana Pragensis ensemble and the soprano Hana Blažíková. The chants and polyphonic songs are supplemented by secular music, with the result being a fascinating picture of the variegated music performed during the reign of Charles IV, showing all its forms.

Read Supraphon's interview with David Eben here.

“Vocal delivery is uniformly placid, characterful and yet soft-centred, even in the polyphonic sections…instrumental participation is sparing and, in the main, well judged” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

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Josef Antonin Sehling: Music From 18th Century Prague

Josef Antonin Sehling: Music From 18th Century Prague

Recorded in Church of Virgin Mary under the Chain, Prague, 2014


Sonata pastorale a tre, K397


Rorate Primo

Aria per Adventu Domini 'Donner und Hagel'

Rorate Secondo

Mottetto per la Nativita di Nostro Signore 'Deponite metum'

Vis ingens est favori

Mottetto per la Nativita di Nostro Signore 'Dormi nate, mi mellite'

Pastorella 'Eja laeti properemus'

Pastorella 'Eja surgite pastores'

Pastorella 'Non sic cervus ad fluentem'

Aria per ogni festivita 'Vos stellae preclarae'

Pastorella 'Dormi tenellule'

Offertorium de Sanctis Tribus Regis 'Ecce magi veniunt'

Hana Blazikova (soprano), Marketa Cukrova (alto), Tomas Kral (baritone)

Collegium Marianum, Jana Semeradova

Precious few countries can boast of a Christmas repertoire as ample and colourful as that possessed by the Czech Republic.

The Baroque era imbued the texts of songs with enchanting, tender poetics - with awestruck yet perplexed shepherds enthusing about the beautiful infant Jesus. Later on, a growing number of formally more complex pieces (pastorales) were written, most of them taking the form of arias or duets with instrumental accompaniment. A notable composer in this respect was Josef Antonin Sehling.

Although still anchored in the Baroque world, he paved the way for the accession of a new musical style. He studied in Vienna and subsequently worked in Prague as a member of Count Vaclav Morzin's renowned orchestra and as second violin at Saint Vitus Cathedral, although standing in as Kapellmeister over the long term (an interesting parallel can be drawn with Zelenka, the 'counter-bassist' at the court orchestra in Dresden).

Sehling was Kapellmeister of several Prague churches, including the Church of Our Lady under the Chain, where the present world premiere recording was made. The album features pieces intended for the period from Advent to Epiphany.

Sehling's music contains the magic of Michna's songs yet concurrently opens upon a world familiar from Ryba's Christmas Mass.

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Zelenka: Sepolcri

Zelenka: Sepolcri

Recorded in Church of Virgin Mary under the Chain, Prague, May 5–7, 2011


Immisit Dominus pestilentiam, ZWV58

Attendite et videte, ZWV59

Deus dux fortissime, ZWV60

Hana Blažíková (soprano), David Erler (alto), Tobias Hunger (tenor) & Tomáš Král (bass)

Collegium Marianum (performed on period instruments), Jana Semerádová

Jan Dismas Zelenka, the most distinctive figure of Czech Baroque music, no longer requires any introduction. His Prague works, however, have yet to be paid much attention. And unjustly so. The three sepolcri (cantatas intended for performance on Good Friday at the Holy Sepulchre) represent the earliest music of Zelenka’s that has been preserved, yet they are already truly singular pieces encompassing all the traits of their creator’s remarkable compositional style.

Zelenka created the pieces for Prague’s Klementinum, the oldest Jesuit college in Bohemia, and in a unique manner they serve to document the copious music performances that took place at the Saint Salvator Church, one of the most significant places on the “music map” of Baroque Prague. In 1709, Zelenka conducted at this church the performance of the first sepolcro.

Three centuries later, the cantatas were recorded for the very first time (at the church located at the opposite end of the Charles Bridge) by Collegium Marianum, one of the finest Czech and European Baroque ensembles, together with four outstanding soloists. Another instalment in the successful Music from Eighteenth-Century Prague series, and another chapter of Jan Dismas Zelenka’s remarkable oeuvre presented to the listener. Zelenka’s Easter cantatas come back to life after three centuries.

“Credit is due to Jana Semeradova for a world-premiere recording, and for the cool professionalism with which he and his choir illuminate the score's structure. What fails to come through is the verve with which the composer appealed to his Jesuit constituents...The artistry of Zelenka, rather than the performers, is what makes this disc a worthwhile acquisition.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 ***

“Though the more consistent balance of later works is yet to be achieved, his many admirers will surely be delighted at the opportunity to acquaint themselves with this younger but clearly recognisable and lovable version of their hero. Collecgium Marianum introduce us to him in performances that are skilful, stylish and attractive to the ear...A beautiful, warming Baroque discovery.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2012

“They are the earliest pieces by Zelenka to have survived...The long, achingly expressive melodic lines that are so characteristic of Zelenka's later instrumental writing can be heard in the vocal writing here, along with his fondness for constructing elaborate fugues, and for coming up with totally unexpected dramatic twists. They are fascinating rediscoveries.” The Guardian, 15th December 2011 ***

“The tone, unsurprisingly, is restrained, yet there is an underlying sprightliness and restless invention, well captured by the Prague forces.” The Telegraph, 13th January 2012

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Rorate Coeli: Advent and Christmas in Baroque Prague

Rorate Coeli: Advent and Christmas in Baroque Prague


Aria “ Quel pargoletto” (from Vaticini di pace)

Fasch, J F:

Sonata for Flute, Two Recorders & Basso continuo in G major


Cantata ad Montem Sanctum “Quc est ista”

Triosonata in D major

Aria de Adventu “ O coeli, rorate”


Maria, thou lofty field

Oh God, how did I deserve

Mary, give your consent

Rorate coeli, when holy prophets

Oh my beloved

To little Jesus

A darling child


Alma Redemptoris Mater

Succurre cadenti

Virgo prius – Larghetto piano sempre

Adeste fideles

Prague Loreto Carillon, arr. Radek Rejšek

Hana Blažíková (soprano), Kamila Ševcíková (alto) & Tomáš Král, Marián Krejcík (baritone)

Collegium Marianum (on period instruments), Jana Semerádová (artistic director)

In the rich musical life of early 18th century Prague, the Advent and Christmas seasons formed a chapter unto themselves. Their specific repertoire consisted not only of the themes of this liturgical season (including a strong element of the Marian cult), but also of special liturgical and musical forms. In both songs and figural music Czech suddenly appeared side by side with Latin, along with elements of folk religion and culture. These are most to be heard in the charming Advent and Christmas poeticism of the songs of Holan Rovenský.

Prague’s archives also hold whole troves of pieces with more sophisticated forms, both those by composers who worked in Prague (A. Reichenauer, J.F. Fasch) and those brought in from elsewhere (A. Caldara, Dresden-based J. D. Zelenka, and others). All the pieces on this new recording by the outstanding Collegium Marianum share the atmosphere of expectation of the Savior’s arrival and the spirit of peace and joy. And joy is precisely what shines through the thoughtful musicological and dramaturgical program of this “authentic” recording into the heart of the listener, whether during the seasons of Advent and Christmas or at any other time.

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Jan Josef Ignác Brentner: Concertos and Arias

Jan Josef Ignác Brentner: Concertos and Arias


Horc pomeridianc seu concertus cammerales sex, Op. 4

World Premiere Complete Recording

Harmonica duodecatometria ecclesiastica, Op. 1

Aria V in G major “Cor meum tibi dedo”

Concerto III in B flat major

Concerto I in G minor

Aria XII

Aria “O Deus, ego amo Te”

Concerto VI in C minor

Concerto IV in G major

Aria II in C minor

Concerto V in F major

Concerto II in D minor

Brixi, S:

Tu es Deus


Hana Blažíková (soprano)

Collegium Marianum, Jana Semerádová

In the first decades of the 18th century, Prague was a hotbed of musical creativity. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of preserved music sources, among which instrumental music is represented to an even lesser extent. The selection of Jan Josef Ignác Brentner’s concertos Horæ pomeridianæ, which this recording presents in its complete form for the first time, is an absolute rarity in the given area and was the first-ever instrumental music by a domestic composer published in Prague.

However, Brentner’s first published opus was Harmonica duodecatomeria ecclesiastica (1716), a selection of sacred arias. With four printed collections, Brentner was undoubtedly the most published domestic composer of his time.

Thanks to their being inspired by the Italian musical style, his works spread far beyond the borders – through Jesuit missionaries they even got to the territory of today’s Bolivia (!), where several copies have been preserved up to the present day. Brentner, celebrated in his time yet soon forgotten, today rediscovered, richly deserves to be one of the first composers presented within the new series entitled “Music From Eighteenth-Century Prague.

“Brentner has a distinctive melodic personality and an admirable control of texture. All of the music in this well-recorded collection is beautifully performed” BBC Music Magazine, November 2010 ***

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Václav Gunther Jacob: Missa Dei Filii

Václav Gunther Jacob: Missa Dei Filii

Jacob, V G:

Missa Dei Filii

Dixit Dominus

Vezirius Turcicus


Concerto No. 1 in C, Op. XIX

Concerto No. 3 in F, Op. XIX

Concerto in D, Op. VI, No. 6

Hana Blažíková, Barbora Sojková (soprano), Petra Noskaiová (mezzo-soprano), Sylva Cmugrová (contralto), Hasan El Dunia, Ondrej Šmíd (tenor) & Tomáš Král, Jaromír Nosek (bass)

Capella Regia Praha, Robert Hugo

Throughout the 18th century, Prague was a significant European centre. When it comes to music, it fused in a singular manner influences primarily from Dresden, Vienna and Italy with the famous Czech musicality and folk culture. In a superlative and historically knowledgeable interpretation, the newly originating cycle “Music from Eighteen-Century Prague” will map the-yet-to-beappreciated wealth which is still being discovered in Prague, Czech and foreign archives and which directly reflects the variegated picture of the musical life of the capital. Václav Gunther Jacob’s “Missa Dei Filii”, which in world premiere opens this series, is an example of the creation of one of the most popular composers from the Czech lands in the first third of the 18th century.

Jacob was primarily synonymous with the Benedictine Monastery of Saint Nicholas in Prague’s Old Town, yet thanks to several printed music collections his fame spread far beyond the country’s borders (prints have been preserved in, for example, Munich and Bologna) and earned him a number of commissions from abroad. Through this CD, the remarkable work of the stylistically highly original composer has for the first time in centuries the opportunity to draw the attention it deserves and be listened to by lovers of Baroque music. The recording is noteworthy for its vivacity and stylistic purity – attributes characteristic of Capella Regia Praha. The world premiere of V. G. Jacob’s Baroque mass opens the new edition series Music from Eighteen-Century Prague.

“Robert Hugo lavished as much attention on Rathgeber's slender compositions as he does on Jacob's weightier utterances. Voices are suitably robust… good sense prevails in the artistic use of organ, theorbo and harpsichord continuo [and] spine-tingling natural horns...” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2010

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