Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor Tomáš Netopil
Recorded in Prague in the Studio 1 of the Czech Radio, October 26-27 and November 9-11, 2015. Produced in association with Czech Radio.
Janáček was one of the most distinguished composers of the 20th century, with his operas enjoying particular renown all over the world. Yet he has bequeathed us precious few pieces for independent symphony orchestra. Hence, a number of conductors (Václav Talich, followed by František Jílek, Sir Charles Mackerras and others) have striven to expand this limited repertoire by creating suites from his operas. The present recording features such treatments of his three major musical dramas. Jenufa was the first opera to be set to a prose text. The currently globally celebrated piece reflected the sorrow Janáček felt after the death of his two beloved children and gave rise to a deep personal crisis, when in 1903 the National Theatre in Prague declined to stage the piece on the grounds that it was of dubious artistic quality. In Fate, Janáček experimented with and explored the potentialities of the musical-dramatic form itself. Similarly to Jenufa, it too met with rejection and would only be premiered 30 years after the composer’s death. Katya Kabanova is one of the greatest Janáček works and one of the most beautiful lyric operas of the 20th century and beyond. The CD presents Janáček’s singular musical idiom in suites from his three pivotal operas.
The artists featured on the recording, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and the conductor Tomáš Netopil, have garnered acclaim with two previous Janáček projects (Sinfonietta, Taras Bulba, etc., SU41312031; Glagolitic Mass, The Eternal Gospel, SU41502231), both of them voted Gramophone Editor’s Choice.
The singular universe of Leoš Janáček’s operas in a symphonic garb.