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Reviews: Janacek: Orchestral Works - Volkov

Reviews: 2

Site review by Castor September 2, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:    
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

http://www.HRAudio.net/showmusic.php?title=3327#reviews

Review by sylvian January 28, 2010 (4 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Janacek lies in main focus from Czech/Moravian composers for many years now.

The Eternal Gospel is based on a Poem by Jarslav Vrchlicky and is directly linked to Joachim da Fiore (+1212) vision/prophecy, which pushes forward the Apocalypse by St. John from the Bible a bit. The cantata is sung in Czech here by two main actors Gweneth-Ann Jeffers as an angel (soprano) and very dedicated tenor Adrian Thompson who sings as if he had Sir Charles Mackerras as his correpetitore. The Czech is not perfect from both main artists but very decent for my ear. Actually there is a whole lot artists who enters Janacek's music in past 20 years with vigorosity: Nancy Gustafson as "Kata Kabanova" and Ingrid Sörensen as "Jenufa" and they doing very well. Mackerras as the only western conductor delivers Janacek to the last point - it is a pleasure surprise that Ilan Volkov is capable doing the same!

The Ballad of Blanik is the shortest (orchestral) piece played with full understandig for the score.

The third piece "The Fiddler's Child" belongs to the little surprises. Elisabeth Layton (vi) playing as if she had been born in Hukvaldy (Janacek's village).

Excursions of Mr. Broucek (into XVth Century) - unfortunately suite only here is lightweighted work seen very rarely by this composer. Another exquisitly playing from the orchestra - very well done!

Technically all the 4 pieces are masterfully mixed and authored for SA-CD - no flaws here.

There are days in one's life which brings some little surprises from time to time. This disc is certainly one of them. Janacek's quirkiness is present here as well as his unique style.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

It is a shame that the Czech conductors and orchestras are doing Janacek very rarely so that Janacek is almost forgotten in central Europe but certainly very well acclaimed in the Western World which has been predicted after Karel Ancerl's death. Karel Ancerl was one of the Czech conductors who delivered early 20th music like no other does.

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