A while ago I was listening to every Glagolitic Mass I could find. One of those finds was this album, but I had purchased it on Supraphon vinyl. I enjoyed it but thought that something was lacking about the production so I bought the CD.... WOW!
While there is some truth to vinyl excelling in sound over CD's, this offering is a rare example that it does not. The engineers cleaned up a great deal of the flaws from the master tape and resulting vinyl cut and broadened the listening spectrum, eradicated any distortion whilst including that warm sound we associate with records.
Jilek's reading is unique because he has original ideas about balance, tempi, and rubato not found even in the Ancerl disc. I'm not certain how to describe this purchase other than: if you're able to walk simultaneously through two countrysides, one in the foothills of the Rockies and the other in foothills of the Tatra mountains of Slovakia, I feel you would gravitate towards the Tatras. Why?
This account of Janacek's mass is that unique. If it isn't spectacular, then it is certainly overwhelming in its presentation. The soloists are first-class, the chorus magnificent, the orchestra on par with their colleagues in the Czech PO, Jilek's ability to pace the work and temper the forces; it is the most intimate interpretation of the piece I've ever heard and therefore one of the greatest.
Well worth the purchase and the numerous times I've listened to and studied it, this is a must for any serious CD library.