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Janácek: From the House of the Dead / Mackerras

Audio Samples

  1. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): I. Prelude $1.29 on iTunes
  2. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): II. Privedou dnes pana! $1.29 on iTunes
  3. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): III. Jak te nazy vaji? $1.29 on iTunes
  4. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): IV. Neuvidi oko jiz kraju $1.29 on iTunes
  5. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): V. Aljejo, podavej nitku! $1.29 on iTunes
  6. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): VI. A... A... Mily, mily Aljejo! $1.29 on iTunes
  7. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): VII. Alexandr Petrovic, bude praznik $1.29 on iTunes
  8. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): VIII. Presel den, druhy, treti $1.29 on iTunes
  9. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): IX. Dnes bude muj posledni den! $1.29 on iTunes
  10. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): X. Pantomima o Pekne mlyanrce $1.29 on iTunes
  11. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): XI. Pekne hrali, co? $1.29 on iTunes
  12. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): XII. Isaj, prorok bozi! $1.29 on iTunes
  13. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): XIII. Ma detatka mila $1.29 on iTunes
  14. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): XIV. S Filkou jste se opet spratelili? $1.29 on iTunes
  15. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): XV. S Filkou Jste Se Opet Sprátelili? $1.29 on iTunes
  16. Janácek — From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu): XVI. Petrovici! Ja isem te urazil $1.29 on iTunes
  17. Janácek — Mládi (Youth) for Wind Sextet: I. Andante $1.29 on iTunes
  18. Janácek — Mládi (Youth) for Wind Sextet: II. Moderato $1.29 on iTunes
  19. Janácek — Mládi (Youth) for Wind Sextet: III. Allegro $1.29 on iTunes
  20. Janácek — Mládi (Youth) for Wind Sextet: IV. Con moto $1.29 on iTunes
  21. Janácek — Nursery Rhymes (Rikadla)

Notes & Reviews:

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.



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