Friday, 13 November 2020


Born this day in 1699, Johann Zach (†1773, also called by the Czech equivalent Jan) was a versatile Bohemian composer, violinist and organist who helped bridge musical traditions from the old Baroque style to the emerging Classical one, punctuated with counterpoint (the clavier vs the orchestra) and the so called style galant, and importantly incorporated Italian influences with folk music from his native land—though his eccentricities and difficult personality made it hard for him to secure employment or keep a positon for long. Despite this reputation and temperament, Zach did hold the office of Kapellmeister for the court of the Prince-Elector and Archbishop of Mainz for over a decade which were among his most productive years, including the performance below of his Stabat mater (a hymn to Mary, setting to music the first line—the incipit—from the Council of Trent’s liturgical sequence, Stabat mater dolorรณsa—the sorrowful mother was standing).