Joseph Anton Sehling

After a study visit to Vienna, Josef Anton Sehling (7 January 1710, Toužim ‒ 19 September 1756, Prague) earned  a living as a violinist  and composer for a wide variety of Prague institutions, but chiefly in the ensemble of Count Wenzel (Wenceslas) Morzin, at the Cathedral of St Vitus, and in the orchestra of the Kotzen Theatre. He had a large music collection consisting of his own copies. The greatest public recognition of his activity as a composer was for the performance of a school play about the Biblical heroine Judith with music that he composed before Empress Maria Theresa during the celebrations of her coronation as the Queen of Bohemia in 1743. Most of his compositions were sacred music.

 

Latin Pastorellas

ed. Milada Jonášová

Sehling’s pastoral compositions represent a unique body of work in the field of Czech sacred music during the “pre-Brixi” period, which was a stylistically transitional period. As time went by, there were increasing numbers of compositions from the category of pastorellas, “natalitias”, or “adventualias”, and Sehling (1710–1756) was one of the composers of such pieces.

In terms of style, he is one of the composers who abandoned some elements of Baroque music, thereby laying the groundwork for the arrival of a new musical style. His four Pastorellas constitute a specific group of formally simple Latin-language sacred compositions.

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