Janacek: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2

Album cover art for upc 095115515624
Label: CHANDOS
Catalog: CHSA5156
Format: SACD

ANDERSSON EHNES MANDOZZI BERGEN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA GARDNER, JAMES EHNES

The Bergen Philharmonic and conductor Edward Gardner are featured once again on this second volume in the Chandos label’s series devoted to the orchestral works of Leoš Janáček.The repertoire on this disc includes some of the composer’s greatest programmatic pieces.Unsurprisingly, the first piece featured here is Jealousy – his first declared piece of program music, originally written to preface the opera Jenůfa but never included in any production of it during his lifetime.Both The Ballad of Blaník and The Fiddler’s Child (also known as a ‘ballad for orchestra’) are characterized by the use of musicals symbols reflecting the Czech poems on which the pieces are based and also some of the composer’s personal reflections and responses.The one-movement Violin Concerto,” The Wandering of a Little Soul”, is a more mysterious piece, with uncertainties surrounding the title, date of creation, and the goals of its composition.Miloš Štědroň and Leoš Faltus, using Janáček’s sketches, reconstructed the version recorded here, in similar fashion to the composer’s unfinished Danube symphony.An interpretation of the famous tale by Gogol, Taras Bulba (1915) was Janáček’s most substantial orchestral work to that time.It is inflected with folk dances, battle and horse-riding music, and suffering and love, all brought to a grandiloquent apotheosis in orchestration of almost cinematic vividness.“Gardner’s way with Janáček’s music is… pretty persuasive. Chandos have recorded the orchestra in warm but well-detailed and well–focused sound.” (MusicWeb Int’l on V1)

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