Jan Zach

Jan Zach (13 Nov. 1713, Dehtáry – 24 May 1773, Ellwangen) was one of the important Czech musicians living in emigration and a representative of central European musical pre-classicism. The recent exact determination of his date of birth places him in the company of J. V. Stamitz, C. W. Gluck and other composers who grew up in Prague in the 1730s. Jan Zach held the position of court Kapellmeister in Mainz (1745), and later (1756) led the life of a freelance composer, music teacher  and journeyman performer. His instrumental compositions are indicative of stylistic experiments, and his numerous vocal works exhibit a synthesis between the results of developments and the heritage of the old style.

Requiem Solemne

ed. Tomáš Slavický

The Requiem Solemne by Jan Zach is a representative example of music composed in Prague in the 1730s. Although it is one of the composer’s early works, it met with an extraordinarily varied reception during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. At that time, the composition attracted attention mainly for its use of chromaticism, while from today’s perspective we can see it as an example of a large, stylistically diverse vocal-instrumental composition. The style range spans from retrospective counterpoint to dramatic resources, for which J. D. Zelenka and the Italian composers of Vivaldi’s generation were models.

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