Adam Michna z Otradovic (c. 1600–1676), the most prominent figure of Czech music of the 17th century, studied at a Jesuit school in his home town, Jindrichuv Hradec in southern Bohemia. Around the year 1633 he was nominated organist of the provost’s church, a position he held until his death. Missa V is part of the last and largest collection of Michna’s sacred works Sacra et litaniae, published in Prague in 1654 (containing five Masses, Requiem, Te Deum and two litanies). The piece is designed as a dialogue between the concerto solo bass and the mostly homophonous, passive four-part choir. Dramatic effect is achieved, as it is elsewhere with Michna, with the use of unusual harmonics and chromatics. The very simple instrumental accompaniment – two violins, a trombone (viola) ad libitum in the overture, and basso continuo possibly reflect the limited options of church ensembles during the Thirty Year War. As with the other sections of this largest Czech collection of Latin liturgical music, this Mass is published for the first time in the modern age, in the critical edition of Prof. V. Belský and Dr. Jirí Sehnal. The publication includes an extensive Preface and Editor’s Notes (Czech, German, English).
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