Aliases: Mikołaj Zieleński; Nicolaus Zielenski; Zelenscius
Born: ca. 1575; before 1590
Died: ca. 1625; after 1615
Biography: Little is known of Zieleński's life, beyond his presence by 1604 in Płonck where he became organist in 1606, and his marriage. In 1611, his two volumes were published in Venice, dedicated to the Archbishop of Gniezno. We have very little information about his life. He was the conductor and organist of the band of Bishop Wojciech Baranowski in Łowicz and probably remained in these positions until the death of the primate in 1615. That the latter died in 1615 without having hired a replacement suggests Zieleński was still alive at that time.
"Zieleński’s preserved compositions are as follows: Offertoria totius anni and Communiones totius anni, together 122 works which were published by Vincentius in Venice in 1611. The collection of Offertoria is made up of 56 compositions. The first 44 works are based on liturgical text of offertoria. The text of the others consist of two communions, one magnificat, and nine different religious texts. Except for the Magnificat which is for 12 voices (3 choirs for 4 voices) all the other compositions are for 8 or 7 voices (2 choirs for 4 voices, 1 choir for 4 voices, and 1 choir for 4 voices and 3 voices).
"The first edition of Offertoria totius Anni contains 8 books for voices and one score for organ which contains extreme voices of each choir (Cantus et Bassus Primi et secundi chori, in the Magnificat as well as Cantus et Bassus tertii chori). The books for voices, which was known to exist in Wrocław until 1939 was partially lost during the World War II. The part which still exists is Cantus primi chori, Tenor primi chori, Altus secundi chori, Tenor secundi chori, can be found in the University library in Wrocław. One copy of Partitura pro organo (the only one known) is in the Museum Czartoryski in Krakow. The other copy of Cantus primi chori is in the Jagellonnian University in Kraków. According to A. Chybinski in his dictionary of Polish Musicians (1949) another copy of a score for voices is in the Baworowski Library in Lwów" (From the Polish Music Center).
"There is a mystery at the very beginning of Mikołaj Zieleński's work. [His Offertoria publication was] printed in 1611 by Vincenti in Venice, but is absent from Italian libraries. [It has] survived in one incomplete copy. It is not known what happened with the circulation. Was any copy deposited in the castle in Łowicz, the seat of the Primate of Poland? It no longer exists there today, but it was the Primate's court who financed printing the composer's work. Why was not a single copy kept in Gniezno, where the archbishopric is located? The only known set of voice books was in the Miejska Library in Wrocław, and is currently kept at the University Library there. The only copy of the organ score is at the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow. We will probably never understand how this publication came to be" (translated from Malinowski 2015).
View the Wikipedia article on Mikolaj Zielenski.
List of choral works
Other works, not yet available at CPDL
- They may be available at the Biblioteka Caecilianum
Click here to search for this composer on CPDL
- Offertoria totius anni, Venetijs, Apud Iacobum Vincentium MDCXI 1611
- Communiones totius anni quibus in solennioribus festis Sancta Romana Ecclesia uti consuevit ad cantum organi, 1–6vv, insts, cum … vocis resolutione, quam Itali gorgia vocant … aliquot simphoniae, 4–6vv, et tres fantasiae (Venice, 1611)
- Malinowski, Władysław. 2015. The Work Of Mikołaj Zieleński: Publisher's View. Diagonali 3, 11 pp. (in Polish)