Passional of the Venerable Lord for the Convent of Žilina (The Passional of Žilina)


Passionale Domini Venerabilis Conventvs Solnensis (Passional of the venerable lord for the Convent of Žilina), commonly known as the Passional of Žilina, contains a number of manuscript musical works. Included here are two compendia. In the first, Harmonia pastoralis (Shepherd's harmony), are two Latin-Slovak Christmas masses with Slovak folk pastorales and carols, and the Latin antiphon "Tota pulchra" (All beautiful). In the second, Prosae pastorales (Pastor's songs), are carols and pastorales for Christmas, New Year, and Epiphany, including the well-known carol “Do lesa, do hory valasi” (Into the forest, into the mountains, shepherds). The work also includes four-part musical compositions for Palm Sunday, based on the Gospel of Matthew, and for Good Friday, based on the Gospel of John. From the 1930s until recently, the work was attributed to Edmund Pascha (1714–72), also known as Claudianus Ostern, a Franciscan priest, composer, poet, and organist who lived and worked in the Franciscan churches and monasteries in Hlohovec, Prešov, and Žilina from 1731. New research has shown that Pascha was responsible for the beautiful, full-page paintings depicting Saint Barbara, the patron saint of the Franciscan church in Žilina, the Crucifixion, his self-portrait, and 22 ornaments. This later scholarship confirms that the works were composed in Žilina in 1766 by Pascha’s brother Franciscan Georgius (also seen as Jozef) Juraj Zrunek (1736–1789), an organist and copyist who also composed the two Christmas masses. After he was ordained as a priest in 1755, he served in Hlohovec, and later also as an organist and a preacher in several Franciscan cloisters, especially in Slovakia. At various times he was active in Žilina, where he worked with Edmund Pascha. He died in Nižná Šebastová in 1789. Juraj Zrunek arranged and wrote a range of musical compositions for church use.

Last updated: February 25, 2016