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Janacek: Glagolitic Mass, Sinfonietta / Simon Rattle, Et Al

Release Date: 09/14/1999 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 66995   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leos Janácek
Performer:  Felicity PalmerAmeral GunsonJohn MitchinsonMalcolm King,   ... 
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraCity of Birmingham Symphony OrchestraCity of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Simon Rattle always had something about him and this was (is?) coupled with a most encouraging approach to the less common repertoire. It is to be hoped that this will carry over into the concert programmes of Berliner Philharmoniker. Lofty Elysian fields indeed although often afflicted with a stultifying lack of adventure when it comes to repertoire choice.

During the early 1980s and on leave from the CBSO, EMI assigned the Philharmonia to him. With them he had earlier made a well-received disc of Sibelius 5. Everything works in the Sinfonietta with proverbial synergy. While I recall criticism that the Sinfonietta performance did not ring comprehensively true I do not detect any shortcomings. Indeed the recording is
Read more flexible, gripping; not hectoring but still dramatic. I reckon this high in the leagues alongside the absurdly little known Serebrier on Reference Recordings. Rattle's way with the orchestra is wrenchingly resplendent and juicily romantic with that essential dash of autochthonous paprika that marks out a performance for the long-term memory.

The Glagolitic Mass lacks the abrasion of the Ancerl Supraphon through which I first came to know this piece. Hearing those opening fanfares in Rattle's recording reminded me for the first time of Bruckner. The parallel had never once crossed my mind in the Ancerl registration. The singing of the Brummies is fervent but not competitive with Ancerl's choir whose very breath seems infused with primeval fire and incense. Rattle's soloists are in style but again I feel that they are outpointed by the reeking intensity of the Czechs. That said, and much as I love it, the Ancerl is sadly beginning to wear its years rather heavily. Rattle and his singers bring some refinement to the proceedings but not so much as to chamfer off the Czech rawness. The orchestra is a wonder. Jane Parker-Smith gothically plunging organ complements the proceedings. I have not heard the Mackerras which is highly thought of. There is no lack of power in the Mass and would make a happy purchase. There is just that suspicion that more could have been made of it. This compares with a top-flight Sinfonietta to make a desirable disc.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

Sinfonietta by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Brno, Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 23 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
Glagolitic Mass by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Felicity Palmer (Soprano), Ameral Gunson (Mezzo Soprano), John Mitchinson (Tenor),
Malcolm King (Bass), Jane Parker-Smith (Organ)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Brno, Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 01/1981 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 39 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: Slavonic 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Exciting Music; Exciting Recording May 23, 2013 By Robert Elden (New York, NY) See All My Reviews "I recently attended a performance of this work by the Ithaca College Orchestra & Chorus at Alice Tully Hall and was extremely pleased to make my reacquaintance with this stirring Janacek music, which was excently performed. I had long ago worn out my 33 LP recording so I was in need of a worthy replacement. I searched out the available CDs of this work on the splendid newly redesigned Arkiv website and settled on this performance. My selection has more than amply been rewarded by the acquisition of this very fine recorded performance. Maestro Rattle and his forces have produced a most passionately played rendition that is a welcome addition to my collection and a commendable replacement of my old LP. Try it; you'll love it!" Report Abuse
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