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Janacek: Six Moravian Choruses After Dvorak / Reuss, Cappella Amsterdam

Janacek / Walker / Cappella Amsterdam / Reuss
Release Date: 01/10/2012 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 902097  
Composer:  Leos Janácek
Performer:  Thomas WalkerPhilip MayersErnestine StoopDirk Luijmes
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is an important release, not just because Janácek was a major choral composer and the music is wonderful, but also because it’s important for his music’s dissemination that it be performed outside of his native country. Yes, there is the language issue, but that’s true for anyone singing anything in a foreign tongue, and choirs today expect to earn a rich assortment of languages. When I sang in my college choir, we did everything from English, Spanish, French and German to Hungarian, Polish, Russian, and Finish. It’s just a question of getting someone to teach how to pronounce the words, and taking the trouble to learn what they mean.

So it’s a pleasure to welcome this excellently sung and smartly compiled
Read more selection of choral works. They range over Janácek’s entire career, and offer folk-influenced pieces such as the Six Moravian Choruses arranged from Dvorák’s Moravian Duets, sacred music including the Ave Maria and Our Father, utterly personal inspirations such as the deeply moving Elegy on the Death of My Daughter Olga, and culminate in the wacky and bizarre Nursery Rhymes for chorus and a strange assortment of instruments (including an ocarina and a toy drum).

This latter work remains one of the least known of Janácek’s late (1926) masterpieces, and it tends to come and go on disc. The texts are mostly nonsense. Being typically Eastern European, there’s quite a bit about goats and other barnyard animals, and a bunch of old women doing peculiar things. The musical settings only enhance their oddity (sound clip). It’s great to find it (and all of this music) on a major label, beautifully engineered and fully documented with complete texts and multi-lingual translations. It should win the music many new friends.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The wolf's trail by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Thomas Walker (Tenor), Philip Mayers (Piano)
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; Czech Republic 
2.
Kacena divok by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
3.
Our Father by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Ernestine Stoop (Harp), Dirk Luijmes (Harmonium), Thomas Walker (Tenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901/1906; Brno, Czech Republic 
4.
Elegy on the death of my daughter Olga by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Philip Mayers (Piano), Thomas Walker (Tenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1904; Czech Republic 
5.
Ave Maria by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1883; Brno, Czech Republic 
6.
On the overgrown path: no 1, Our evenings by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901-1908; Brno, Czech Republic 
7.
Moravian Choruses (6) by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1884 
8.
Nursery rhymes by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Brno, Czech Republic 

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