Leos Janacek: Glagolitic Mass; Taras Bulba / Aga Mikolaj; Iris Vermillion; Stuart Neill; Arutjun Kotchinian. Janowski

Notes & Reviews:

This album offers two of the best-known and -loved works by Leo Janácek. The Glagolitic Mass has been described as having absolutely everything: engrossing, enthralling, captivating, startling, soothing, primitive, pristine, spiritual - the list could go on. The gorgeous Taras Bulba combines romanticism with enough mystery to immediately identify as Janácek.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2013
A lean, cleanly contoured Glagolitic, lacking the elemental charge and raw abandon of some versions. Taras Bulba is generally well played, if again short on real cutting edge and excitement.

American Record Guide, September/October 2013
Now we have him leading a mellow, powerful, and very Germanic Slavonic Mass. Textures are built from the bottom up. Janacek's signature dotted rhythms are somewhat rounded, smoothing out the usual angularity in this music. The strings play with a beautiful warm tone as opposed to the silvery glint of the Czech orchestras. The recording follows suit, with its warm tone. Taras Bulba is more mainstream, particularly in its clear tone and fine shaping. Build-ups take their time, and the romantic music in I sounds more dreamy and meditative. Instead of mounted swordsmen, we hear a mechanized army. There is a strong operatic tone to all of this, with wonderful breadth in the final pages. The Berlin Radio Orchestra plays well in both works. Their dialog among themselves and the chorus is effective. Soprano Aga Mikola displays a small soprano. Stuart Neill adapts his English tenor to the Czech style very well. I loved both of Janowski's performances. Mackerras and Boulez are excellent, with Mackerras easier to find. The Boulez was part of a commemorative set issued by the Chicago Symphony. Rattle's concert performances in Boston were terrific.

Gramophone Magazine, July 2013
Janowski takes an altogether gentler view of the work compared to the ebullient energy of Kubelik and in particular Mackerras...Not suprisingly, Janowski is at his most effective in the 'Agnece Bozij' (Agnus Dei); this is gracefully done. The extraordinary organ solo is well played.



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