Sub Olea Pacis Et Palma Virtutis (melodrama On St.
2 CD - Label: Supraphon - SU35202232 - Sub Olea Pacis Et Palma Virtutis - Zelenka, Jan Dismas - Conductor: Marek Stryncl
World premiere One of the highlights of Supraphon´s edition programme for the current year is represented by the world premiere of a truly remarkable work: the coronation opera, Sub olea pacis, by the greatest Czech Baroque composer, Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679 - 1745). The spectacular Prague coronation of the Habsburg Emperor Charles VI as King of Bohemia in 1723 was duly contributed to by Prague´s chapter of the Jesuit order whose members commissioned from the then foremost living Czech composer - who was incidentally likewise their former student - a grandiose musical fresco. The composer happily complied with their request, and he even came personally to Prague, to see to the production of his work. It can now be safely said that the fruit of his creative endeavour proved an undisputed achievement. Throughout its hour-and-a-half-long duration, the composition affirms its status as one of the finest products of the Baroque aesthetic canon. Beyond that, in terms of form, it is one of the four completely preserved works in the genre known as "school plays." Seizing the opportunity of the opera´s renewed premiere, at Prague Castle in July 2000, Supraphon lost no time and invited the several dozen artists from various parts of Europe involved in that successful staging immediately after the event to a series of studio sessions which took place in Prague Castle´s Rothmayer Hall. Under the direction of Marek Stryncl, an expert on early music, the project was carried through to successful completion. Consequently, disc collectors can now at last look forward to an actual listening enjoyment of a composition they have until now encountered only on textbooks, and whose present re-creation is certain to bring them a lot of pleasure.