"In Monte Oliveti" for Woodwind Quintet


Uploaded on Feb 19, 2019

Mikolaj Zielenski (1550 - 1615) was a Polish composer. Zieleński's only known surviving works are two 1611 liturgical cycles of polychoral works, the Offertoria/Communes totius anni. These were dedicated to the Archbishop of Gniezno, Wojciech Baranowski. The sets consist of large-scale double- and triple-choir antiphons, as well as some monodic works typical of the Seconda pratica style of early Monteverdi. Zieleński's music is the first known Polish music set in the style of the Baroque.

Little is known today about the life and work of Mikołaj Zieleński who lived at the turn of the 17th century, indeed too little considering the volume of his work and its historical significance. The fragmentary information we have about him today allows us to reconstruct solely a very fragmentary biographical sketch about this composer. The circumstances in which his exceptional talent was born are a matter of many hypotheses and conjectures. The music created thanks to his exceptional gift allowed Zieleński to take a place in the history of music by which he is even regarded as the best Polish composer before Chopin. Szymon Skorowolski, a historian contemporary to Zieleński, classified him as a member of a group of Polish composers who had been educated in Rome, "in media Roma exercitati". This is a reference of great significance as it locates the main source of his musical knowledge as a professional composer.

Although the time of his musical education is determined by this remark it makes it possible to come up with a hypothesis as to the range of the Italian music masters under whom he may have studied or whose music became familiar to him and indicates his possible connections within Italian musical circles. It is quite certain that Zieleński studied the work of Palestrina whose compositions were recognized by the Council of Trent as the stylistic paragon and pattern of church polyphony. He also became familiar with the compositions of the Gabrielis (Andrea and his nephew Giovanni), the two most eminent representatives of the Venetian polychoral school. Likewise it cannot be excluded that the Polish composer acquainted himself with the ideas of Florentine camerata contained in Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna of V. Galilea (1581). Even the first attempts at accompanied monody made by Caccini and Galilea in their Le nuove musiche (1601) may have been familiar to him.

All the above-made suppositions and conclusions seem to find corroboration in the two volumes of works by Mikołaj Zieleński, Offertoria and Communiones (published in Venice in 1611) at the press of Jacob Vincentius. Both the frontispiece and the short preface published in these books state that Zieleński was a composer, organist and Kapelmeister at the court of the Polish primate Wojciech Baranowski. The status of the patron as well as the seat of his court, ?owicz, the capital of the Archbishops and Primates of Poland, and a well-known centre of musical life back in these days, were fitting with the composer's rank as a musician.

Unfortunately, these are the only known facts concerning the life and work of Mikołaj Zieleński. We know much more about his mastery as a composer from his works that were published.

Offertoria totius anni which make up the first volume, contain 56 seven- and eight-voiced compositions enriched with the accompaniment of instruments. Next to the Offertoria known surely after Gabrielli's Sacrae Simphoniae we find here a twelve voice Magnificat. The pieces in this collection are rendered in the concerto style of the polychoral Venetian school. Let us emphasize that the eight-voiced texture became the most typical form of this type of composition in the beginning of the 17th century. By taking up this trend, Zieleński became one of the precursors of the innovational approach to composing offertories.

Source: IMSLP(https://imslp.org/wiki/In_monte_oliveti_(Martini%2C_Giovanni_Battista) ).

Although originally created for three unaccompanied mixed choirs (SATB), I created this Interpretation of "In Monte Oliveti" for Woodwind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon).

Baroque

Pages 2
Duration 02:31
Measures 58
Key signature 2 flats
Parts 5
Part names Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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