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Janácek: Kát'a Kabanová, Etc / Mackerras, Söderström, Et Al


Release Date: 06/13/2006 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 000641602   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Leos Janácek
Performer:  Jaroslav SoucekZdenek SvehlaJitka PavlováAdolf Tomaschek,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Charles MackerrasDavid Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera ChorusVienna Philharmonic OrchestraLondon Sinfonietta members
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

It's understandable that Decca would choose this set as representative of Charles Mackerras' epochal Janácek opera series. The performance is uniformly excellent, beginning with the astonishing Elisabeth Söderström in the title role and ending with gorgeous playing by the Vienna Philharmonic. But although this may have been the first of the lot, it isn't quite the best: that honor probably belongs to The Makropulos Case, which captures what may be the soprano's greatest recorded performance, one that has no serious recorded competition interpretively speaking (even from Supraphon's competing version).

Furthermore, Mackerras remade this same opera for Supraphon with the equally superb Czech Philharmonic,
Read more featuring Gabriela Benacková as a no-less-involving heroine. If anything, the conducting there is even more exciting, and the playing is marginally sharper and clearer in texture. I can still recommend this performance wholeheartedly. It was and remains a magnificent achievement, and the music finds Janácek at his most lyrical and immediately appealing. The presence of the two mini-piano concertos also makes a nice bonus. If you don't know these Janácek operas, this is the work (alongside Jenufa) to get you started. But honesty compels me to admit that you can still do just a tiny bit better.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Kát'a Kabanová by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Jaroslav Soucek (Baritone), Zdenek Svehla (Tenor), Jitka Pavlová (Alto),
Adolf Tomaschek (Baritone), Vladimir Krejcik (Tenor), Gertrude Jahn (Alto),
Hedwig Drechsler (Voice), Elisabeth Söderström (Soprano), Peter Dvorsky (Tenor),
Nadezda Kniplova (Mezzo Soprano), Dalibor Jedlicka (Bass), Libuse Márová (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919-1921; Brno, Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 12/1976 
Venue:  Sofiensaal, Vienna 
Length: 100 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Czech 
2. Capriccio for Piano left hand and Winds "Defiance" by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Paul Crossley (Piano)
Conductor:  David Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Brno, Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 07/1978 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 20 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3. Concertino for Piano, 2 Violins, Viola, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Paul Crossley (Piano)
Conductor:  David Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; Brno, Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 07/1978 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 17 Minutes 33 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 What a surprise September 13, 2013 By Keith Messersmith (Ashland, PA) See All My Reviews "The first in the Mackerras Janacek series, I bought this release and was pleasantly surprised by the melodious and dramatic surprises of this opera. Now I have bought every title in this series, and enjoy them all. Singing is faultless, and the engineering is as top knotch as the Culshaw, Solti Wagner series. Highly reccommended" Report Abuse
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