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Janacek: The Operas / Mackerras, Vienna Philharmonic

Album Summary

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4
>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Jealousy (Zárlivost), overture for orchestra, JW 6/10
>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : The Cunning Little Vixen (Príhody Lisky Bystrousky), opera, JW 1/9
>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : The Cunning Little Vixen, suite for orchestra (arranged and orchestrated by Václav Talich)
>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : From the House of the Dead (Z mrtvého domu), opera, JW 1/11
>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : The Makropulos Case (Vec Makropulos), opera, JW 1/10
>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Káta Kabanová, opera, JW 1/8
>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Sinfonietta for orchestra ("Military," "Sokol Festival"), JW 6/18
>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Taras Bulba, rhapsody for orchestra, JW 6/15
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

BBC Music Magazine
Charles Mackerras's partnership with soprano Söderström produced definitive and superbly recorded studio performances of Kát'a Kabanová, Jenufa and The Makropulos Case. A must for Janácek fans.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
From the House of the Dead (the 1980 Gramophone Record of the Year) was here recorded for the first time in its proper, original version; and this revealed it as even more of a masterpiece - a work, indeed, to count among the handful of masterpieces of 20th-century opera. The loss of the final chorus, a sentimental addition, is but the most striking of the clarifications: throughout, the sound is sharper, the textures are sparer, and this serves to sharpen the effect and to give the singers more clearly differentiated support. The cast is led, nominally, by Goryanchikov, but the character isn't really the hero of an opera that has no heroes, and in which all are heroes, though Dalibor Jedlicka sings him warmly and well.

The prisoners are skilfully contrasted in Janácek's writing so as to make an apparently random yet actually well-structured group; there isn't a weak performance among them. The Makropulos Affair does have a heroine, in the tragic figure of Emilia Marty; and here Elisabeth Söderström gives one of her greatest recorded performances. She succeeds amazingly in conveying the complexity of the character, the elegance yet flinty cynicism, the aloofness yet vulnerability, the latent warmth that can flower into such rich expressive phrases and then be reined in with a sense of nervy panic. She's only really alarmed by Prus, the most formidable of the men around her, powerfully sung by Václav Zítek. Mackerras is again masterly. This is a recording to set among great performances of it.

As with From the House of the Dead, there's an essay by John Tyrrell that not only gives the listener the best possible introduction to the opera but is also a contribution to scholarship.

The fillups Mládi and the Nursery rhyme, come from David Atherton's splendid 1981 set of five LPs devoted to Janácek; the Lachian Dances set is a rather less successful companion to Makropulos.

Gramophone Magazine
Sir Charles... has done Janácek proud over the years with these recordings, for which one can only return affectionate thanks and congratulations.



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Works Details

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4
  • Performers: Vera Soukupova (Voice); Elisabeth Söderström (Soprano); Jana Jonasova (Voice); Wieslaw Ochman (Tenor); Dalibor Jedlicka (Bass); Eva Randova (Voice); Lucia Popp (Voice); Vaclav Zitek (Voice); Marie Mrazova (Voice); Jindra Pokorna (Soprano); Peter Dvorsky (Tenor); Ivana Mixova (Voice)
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Vienna State Opera Chorus
  • Running Time: 1 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1894-1903

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Jealousy (Zárlivost), overture for orchestra, JW 6/10
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 5 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1894

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : The Cunning Little Vixen (Príhody Lisky Bystrousky), opera, JW 1/9
  • Performers: Lucia Popp (Voice); Beno Blachut (Voice); Ivana Mixova (Voice); Vaclav Zitek (Voice); Eva Randova (Voice); Vladimir Krejcik (Tenor); Dalibor Jedlicka (Bass); Eva Hríbiková (Voice); Richard Novak (Voice); Libuse Marova (Voice); Zuzana Hudecová (Soprano); Miriam Ondrásková (Voice); Gertrude Jahn (Alto); Peter Saray (Boy Soprano); Eva Zigmundová (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : The Cunning Little Vixen, suite for orchestra (arranged and orchestrated by Václav Talich)
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 19 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : From the House of the Dead (Z mrtvého domu), opera, JW 1/11
  • Performers: Vaclav Zitek (Voice); Eva Zigmundová (Mezzo Soprano); Ivo Zidek (Tenor); Jiri Zahradnicek (Voice); Jaroslava Janska (Soprano); Dalibor Jedlicka (Bass); Zdenek Sousek (Tenor); Antonin Svorc (Voice); Vladimir Krejcik (Tenor); Zdenek Svehla (Tenor); Beno Blachut (Voice); Jaroslav Soucek (Baritone); Richard Novak (Voice)
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Vienna State Opera Chorus
  • Running Time: 5 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : The Makropulos Case (Vec Makropulos), opera, JW 1/10
  • Performers: Jiri Joran (Bass); Blanka Vitkova (Voice); Peter Dvorsky (Tenor); Anna Czaková (Mezzo Soprano); Elisabeth Söderström (Soprano); Zdenek Svehla (Tenor); Beno Blachut (Voice); Vladimir Krejcik (Tenor); Vaclav Zitek (Voice); Dalibor Jedlicka (Bass); Ivana Mixova (Voice)
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Vienna State Opera Chorus
  • Running Time: 5 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Káta Kabanová, opera, JW 1/8
  • Performers: Gertrude Jahn (Alto); Nadezda Kniplova (Soprano); Vladimir Krejcik (Tenor); Peter Dvorsky (Tenor); Jitka Pavlova (Voice); Libuse Marova (Voice); Jaroslav Soucek (Baritone); Dalibor Jedlicka (Bass); Hedwig Drechsler (Voice); Elisabeth Söderström (Soprano); Zdenek Svehla (Tenor); Adolf Tomaschek (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: ?01/09/1920-04/17/1921.
  • Running Time: 6 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Sinfonietta for orchestra ("Military," "Sokol Festival"), JW 6/18
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 24 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1926

>Janácek, Leos [Composer] : Taras Bulba, rhapsody for orchestra, JW 6/15
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 23 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1915-1918