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This review is from: Janacek: Glagolitic Mass - Sinfonietta (MP3 Download)
I agree with other reviewers that Antoni Wit is a remarkably underrated conductor who rarely puts in a performance that is short of very good: This recording is no exception. The sound engineering is generally excellent too though I do find the brass a little recessed at some key points.
The playing has that open air freshness that you long for in Janacek's late masterpieces but, if anything the brass sound a little too polished and refined. The final movement of the Glagolitic Mass is usually one of the most visceral and exciting pieces of music with brass instruments seemingly tumbling over each other in a dance of celebration: here it's a little too polite and some of the brass is sounds too distant. The choir, in particular,
and the soloists are exceptional and I admit that complaining about a section of the orchestra sounding too polished might sound a tad perverse
So overall this is an excellent recording but the minor issues are just enough are enough to prevent this being the stand out choice: you can't go wrong with Mackerras of course, but my favourite performance of the Glagolitic Mass is an old mono recording by a pupil of Janacek's Bretislav Bakala.
This new Naxos recording is still a very fine version but just misses top marks at the margins. OK my first repsonse was a bit mean; maybe it's not the top choice but itstill deserves five stars.