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Janácek: Sinfonietta/Taras Bulba/Mládi etc. (2 CDs)
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Janácek: Sinfonietta/Taras Bulba/Mládi etc. (2 CDs)

11 Mar 1996 | Format: MP3

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Disc 2

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 15 April 1996
  • Release Date: 15 April 1996
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.
  • Copyright: (C) 1996 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:23:38
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001N2F3ZG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,995 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H. M. Tobe on 9 Mar 2012
Format: Audio CD
All the music on this set is good. An excellent introduction to Janacek.
Especially the pieces conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras are great, both as music and because of the way they have been performed and recorded: Târas Bulba and the Sinfonietta. A real bargain!
Janacek is a Czech composer of the first half of the 20th century. I would call his music expressionistic. Don't be put down by the difficult word. The music is good, warm and colourful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Janacek 101 and at a bargain price 1 Aug 2002
By R. J. Claster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album is probably the best single introduction to the music of this major and highly distinctive composer. The recordings of the Sinfonietta and Taras Bulba by Mackerras (one of the most prominent interpreters of Janacek's operas and orchestral works) are among the best available, with very wide ranging sound that vividly captures the sound of the organ and bells (in Taras Bulba), and the powerful brass playing from the Vienna Philharmonic. The Lachian Dances and the Suite for string orchestra are early works, which strongly reflect the influence of Dvorak, and the chamber works on the second disc express a more intimate, quirky side of his individuality.
A final word; if you are turned on by the Sinfonietta and/or Taras Bulba, you should check out the Slavonic Mass, a large scale work (one of his last and greatest) for chorus and full orchestra, based upon the ancient slavonic (meaning that it is sung in the old slavonic church vernacular instead of latin) version of the Roman Catholic mass. I can recommend the recordings of both Ancerl on Supraphon and Kubelik on the DG Originals series, as both are mid priced, in good sound, and both conductors, along with Mackerras, are among the premiere interpreters of Janacek.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Everyone should have this recording of the Sinfonietta! 30 Mar 1999
By Gregory M. Zinkl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am only commenting on the Sinfonietta. Mackerras is unexcelled in one of my ultimate pieces. The Vienna Phil would seem intuitively all wrong for this music, but Mackerras transforms the glowing tone of this great orchestra such that it totally serves the music. V, the mov't that makes or breaks a performance in my opinion, is overwhelming--as it should be. The wind soloists, notably the clarinetist and an amazing piccolo player, are exceptional. The strings, of course, have a wonderful tone, and a clarity that Janacek's music screams for (especially all the trills that they are call upon to do). The trumpets (a dozen), are well-behaved, and the timpani, again, incredibly important to this music, is well recorded--and played with lots of excitement. The final impact is not one of only excitement and a huge adrenalin rush, but of something deeper, a sense of gratification that Janacek wrote such a masterpiece, and that Mackerras recorded it for us. The other four movements are in this same vein of gratifying, white-hot intensity and beauty. Recommended at any price as one of the truly great recordings of the century!!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Janacek in a can less the operas and mass 28 Dec 2010
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
You can gain acquiantance with most things meaningful about Czech composer Leos Janacek (1854-1928) by purchasing this London twofer. The performances inside are all considered among the best by ratings books and critics and they wear their histories well. This presents a minimal yet comprehensive look at a composer many think minor even though he has nine pages dedicated to his output in the 2010 Penguin Guide, almost twice what they offer Englishman Gustav Holst and up there with Russian Sergei Rachmaninoff's dozen pages.

Beginning with his famous orchestral pieces, the first disk features the late Charles Mackerras and the Vienna Philharmonic in the Sinfonietta and Taras Bulba rhapsody for orchestra the composer set to pen 1915 to excite the possibility of Czechoslovakia's independence from the Austro-Hungarian empire. Independence finally arrived after World War I in 1918. Ironically, by the time Taras Bulba was first performed in 1921, Czechoslovakia has been independent three years.

In Taras Bulba -- the composer's retelling of Gogol's hero with a Czech slant -- Mackerras is in league with other great recordings including the one led by Karel Ancerl, whose fire and brimstone transcends Mackerras's romance and the VPO's burnished 1980 sound. Mackerras's performance of Sinfonietta, the closest Janacek came to writing a symphony, is elegant, polished and incisive though not as raucous as Kubelik with the Bavarian Radio Symphony.

Belgian conductor Francois Huybrechts leads Janacek's Lachian Dances, spirited pieces that compare favorably with Brahms' Hungarian Dances, Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies and Dvorak's Slavonic Dances. Dymek, dance No. 4, is the most famous among them. Huybrechts has the measure of the dances and the 1970 playing by the London Symphony Orchestra is worthy of special notation, as is the recording from Londons' Kingsway Hall.

While the famous orchestral works will most immediately engage a newcomer, the second disk of chamber music piqued my interest in the composer. Janacek's Mladi for woodwind quartet was written in the mid-1920s, is of a 20th century temperament bordering on French, yet looks back nostalgically to the composer's youth with romance and even wistfulness. This performance matches the best available including the more darkly idiomatic Prague Wind Quintet and the more international and laid back Michael Thompson Wind Quintet.

Pianist Paul Cressley's advocacy in the odd Capriccio for Piano and Chamber Orchestra of five woodwind instruments and the Stravinskian Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra was compared to Rudolf Firkusny's classic accounts by the Penguin Guide, which said "no praise can be higher." While not on the same exalted level, the youthful Suite for String Orchestra provides a nice makeweight and celebrated Neville Marriner's first recording with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchetra.

This set is of greatest interest to listener first discovering Leos Janacek, the Czech composer that bridged Czech composers Antonin Dvorak and Bedrich Smetana in the 19th century to Bohuslav Martinu and Miloslav Kabelac in the 20th century. This recording, coupled with Ancerl's Glagolitic Mass and Mackerras's recordings of the operas The Cunning Little Vixen and Jenufa, will give most listeners a lot to chew on by this talented, original and three-dimensional composer.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
an excellent introduction to Janacek's music 8 Jan 2001
By "koream" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The first disk of this work is an excellent introduction to Janacek's music. Although it might seem odd that a British conductor leading the Vienna Phil would be the prime exponent of this body of work, Mackerras' recording of the Sinfonietta is probably the best on disk today, though Rattle's is also good. I have to admit a personal preference to the Kubelik DG recording, but, to my knowledge, it is only available on vinyl. The performance (and recording!) of Taras Bulba is excellent, as well.
My own preference would have been for a single disk recording. The Sinfonietta, Taras Bulba, and the Lachian Dances are probably sufficient, and the typical listener is not well-served by the additional disk (and additional cost!).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I agree with the reviewers 17 July 2011
By Wyote - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Seems like everyone likes this, and I do too, very much. However, all of the recordings here are available on a better deal, a 5 disk set that also includes a lot of other good music, such as the wonderful string quartets and solo piano works such as "On an Overgrown Path." So that, IMO, is the way to go: Janácek: Chamber Music & Orchestral Works.
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