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Leos Janacek: Glagolitic Mass; The Eternal Gospel (Sept. 1927 vers.) / Prague PO Choir & RSO. Netopil

Album Summary

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ("Glagolitic Mass"), JW 3/9
>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Vecné Evangelium (The Eternal Gospel), cantata for soprano, tenor, chorus & orchestra, JW 3/8
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

In the wake of highly acclaimed recording of Janácek's symphonic works (Sinfonietta, Taras Bulba, etc., SU 4131; Orchestral Choice, Gramophone, August 2013), Tomá Netopil and the Prague Radio Symphony now focus on the composer's vocal-instrumental pieces. The Glagolitic Mass is a generally known work, yet not in the composer's original "September 1927" version, as it was performed at the premiere in Brno, which has been recorded for the very first time for this CD. It is fascinating to observe how many distinct traits of Janácek's expressive musical language vanished from the work as a result of its later modifications. The Eternal Gospel, on the other hand, is virtually unknown worldwide (the only previous Supraphon recording was made almost fifty years ago). Janácek was inspired by, and created the libretto on the basis of, Jaroslav Vrchlický's poem about the medieval monk Joachim de Fiore. Janácek worked on the piece concurrently with the opera The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon and completed it in the spring of 1914, a few months prior to the outbreak of WWI.

BBC Music Magazine, January 2015
Netopil directs an excellent performance which, appropriately enough, reflects the operatic world of The Cunning Little Vixen and the Excursions of Mr Broucek...[the Credo] is beautifully shaped and genuinely thrilling. If not entirely perfect, this reading, along with a fine performance of The Eternal Gospel is well worth investigating.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2014
Netopil's performance seethes with nervous energy, his soloists are dedicated, and so are his chorus and orchestra...The Eternal Gospel hasn't been recorded in aeons...Again, the performance is excellent.

The Guardian, 5th November 2014
It's rawer, more stringent, and more confrontational than what we are used to hearing now, and even more difficult to perform; many of the revisions that Janácek made were to reduce the demands on the singers and players, and he took away some of the piece's wildness in the process. The performance is a nicely detailed one, with adequate rather than outstanding soloists.

The Telegraph, 4th November 2014
"Elements of drama and complex discourse that had to be toned down in the interests of performers also assert themselves with a special impact here, with chorus and soloists fearless and forthright in expression and the orchestra dynamic and propulsive. The Eternal Gospel of 1914 makes for a radiant coupling.

The Times, 4th October 2014
Raw and thrilling, this is Janácek's Glagolitic Mass in its never-before-recorded original 1927 version, later toned down by the composer for practical rather than aesthetic reasons. It's performed with suitably full-throated vigour by Czech forces under Tomas Netopil.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
Sweetening the pot further is The Eternal Gospel, a "Legend" for solo soprano and tenor, choir and orchestra inspired by Jaroslav Vrchlicky's poetry. Set by Janacek in 1914, Vrchlicky's poem tells the story of a medieval monk and the angel who reveals to him the coming of a kingdom of love. Alzbeta Polackova and Pavel Cernoch are much less declamatory, and there's affectionate writing for solo violin and, indeed, for the entire orchestra. The choir moves radiantly to the center of the sound stage.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Dvorák Hall of the Rudolfinum in the Studio of the Czec (03/27/2014-03/28/2014); Dvorák Hall of the Rudolfinum in the Studio of the Czec (08/31/2013-09/03/2013).



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Works Details

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ("Glagolitic Mass"), JW 3/9
  • Performers: Ales Barta (Organ); Jozef Benci; Andrea Dankova; Tom Juhas; Petr Zdvihal (Violin)
  • Conductor: Tomás Netopil
  • Ensemble: Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Dvorák Hall of the Rudolfinum in the Studio of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague (08/31/2013-09/03/2013)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1926-1927

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Vecné Evangelium (The Eternal Gospel), cantata for soprano, tenor, chorus & orchestra, JW 3/8
  • Performers: Pavel Cernoch (Tenor); Alzbeta Polackova; Petr Zdvihal (Violin)
  • Conductor: Tomás Netopil
  • Notes: Dvorák Hall of the Rudolfinum in the Studio of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague (03/27/2014-03/28/2014)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: ?1913-14