John of Nepomuk or John Nepomucene was a priest and martyr who lived in the 14th century. Following a conflict with King Wenceslas IV of Bohemia, he was tortured and thrown into the Vltava from Charles Bridge in Prague. That night, his body floated down the river, surrounded by five stars. He was venerated by the local population in subsequent centuries and canonised by the Vatican in 1729. St. John of Nepomuk became the second patron saint of the Jesuit order.
In 1729, an important ceremony was held in his honour at St. James’ Church in Brno. A mass was performed whose author is unknown. The mass is composed for solo singers, choir and instruments. The lavish development of the group of instruments is striking, with virtuoso passages for strings and, unusually, for cornetts and trombones, two instruments associated with music from earlier decades.
The Belgian ensemble Il Gardellino will perform the mass in combination with other works composed for St. James’ Church in Brno. The ensemble has received several accolades for its revelations of rediscovered scores. The famous cornett player Bruce Dickey created this programme based on sources he discovered at the Moravian State Library.
Anonymous: Mass for St. John of Nepomuk | J. Wachter: De profundis | P. Gravani: Offertorium pro feria 2ta Hebdomade | M.A. Ziani: Miserere a 4
Hana Blažíková, Griet Degeyter, soprano | Coline Dutilleul, Estelle Lucas, alto | Thomas Hobbs, Leander van Gijsegem, tenor | André Morsch, Pieter Stas, bass | Il Gardellino | Bruce Dickey & Peter Van Heyghen, artistic direction
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