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Janacek: Taras Bulba, Etc / Arming, Janacek Po


Release Date: 03/14/2006 
Label:  Arte Nova   Catalog #: 675240   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Christian Arming
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrava Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Anyone familiar with the work of the Janácek Philharmonic knows what to expect from this orchestra: an idiomatic familiarity with its namesake's idiom, one that suits the ensemble's lean, unvarnished sound particularly well. Given the fact that we can take the execution for granted, the only serious question concerns the conductor, and here the news is wholly good. Christian Arming doesn't get in the way of the music's directness and passion, doesn't try to prettify its raw emotional edge, and never drags. He directs swift, dynamically charged readings of all three scores.

Taras Bulba has plenty of bite in its first-movement battle scene and benefits from a gorgeous apotheosis at the end (though the organ is a touch
Read more wheezy). Arming tinkers with the orchestration a bit, adding some snare drum here and there (second movement particularly)--but then just about everyone does, given Janácek's notoriously impractical if colorful scoring. In short, it's a fine performance.


If anything, the two couplings are even better. The Ballad of Blanik seldom has sounded so cogent, with its moments of melting lyricism beautifully integrated into the larger whole. Arming also offers a terrific From the House of the Dead suite, far more exciting than Belohlavek's for Supraphon. The overture is wonderful, and although I wish the ending followed that of the opera instead of opting for an affirmative apotheosis (not by Janácek), Arming makes it work. The sonics are extremely clear and natural, letting the music speak effortlessly. Even though the playing time isn't very long--a bit more than 50 minutes--this disc still represents very good value.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Taras Bulba by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Christian Arming
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrava Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915-1918; Brno, Czech Republic 
Venue:  Ostrava, Czech Republic 
Length: 22 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Ostrava, Czech Republic (03/20/1999 - 03/24/1999) 
2.
From the House of the Dead: Suite by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Christian Arming
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrava Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1928; Brno, Czech Republic 
Venue:  Ostrava, Czech Republic 
Length: 21 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Notes: Ostrava, Czech Republic (03/20/1999 - 03/24/1999) 
3.
The ballad of Blaník by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Christian Arming
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrava Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Brno, Czech Republic 
Venue:  Ostrava, Czech Republic 
Length: 8 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Ostrava, Czech Republic (03/20/1999 - 03/24/1999) 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Unmistakably Janacek! June 22, 2016 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "The music of Leos Janacek has a distinct and unique character that I find difficult to summarize in words- you have to experience his off-center sound world for yourself to see what I mean, although the CD notes accompanying this truly excellent recording do a pretty good job of getting to the bottom of this Janacek uniqueness. The symphonic poem Taras Bulba is quite well known, with its shifting visions of brutality and gentleness, so I won't belabor the gruesome story line behind this work. What does need emphasis, however, is the masterful interpretation provided by the Czech Republic's Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra- can it get any more authentic that this? I was also thoroughly impressed by the orchestra's incandescent sound as it played From the House of the Dead and The Ballad of Blanik, two Janacek works that are probably not as familiar to those who like Czech music. So here's the bottom line. Want a listening experience that can honestly be called 'unique'? Sit back in your favorite chair, grab a glass of wine, and turn up the volume on your stereo system--- and prepare to be blown away. I think this recording is that good. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
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