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Leoš Janáček was an authority on his native folk-music, and the Lachian and Moravian Dances preserve and celebrate culture and traditions which were vanishing even in his own lifetime. Based on Gogol’s historical novel, Janáček’s inspired orchestral rhapsody on Taras Bulba depicts three moving and dramatic episodes in the violent life of the Cossack leader, climaxing in his stirring and triumphant prophecy of liberation. This release follows Antoni Wit’s acclaimed Warsaw recording of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass and Sinfonietta (8572639).
This release follows hot on the heels of Antoni Wit’s recording of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass (8572639 and Blu-ray Audio NBD0026), which was described as “gripping from start to finish” by Gramophone and “a major release – a mandatory purchase” in a 10/10 review from ClassicsToday.com. With its mixture of the powerfully emotive Taras Bulba and more pastoral Dances, and the Warsaw Philharmonic’s proven track record in Janáček’s remarkable scores, this release will generate its own substantial following.
Leos Janacek: Taras Bulba, JW VI/15
I. Smrt Andrijova (Death of Andrij)
II. Smrt Ostapova (The Death of Ostap)
III. Proroctvi a smrt Tarase Bulby (The Prophecy and Death of Taras Bulba)
“The sound in general is warm and vivid, and Antoni Wit has a sure hand with all Janacek's demands...Fascinating to hear as versions of material that was feeding into his mature idiom, they are in their own right colourful and highly enjoyable pieces, relished here by the Polish players.”
“Wit is certainly alive to the connections between Taras and the late operas, notably The Cunning Little Vixen. The is aided by some extremely fine wind and brass playing from the Warsaw Philharmonic. Notwithstanding a slightly over-expansive ending and a somewhat close recorded ambience, this is an estimable performance...the orchestral playing is both rhythmically responsive and attractively colourful.”
“Wit’s Taras Bulba is the best I’ve heard. It is not quite like any other recording...and the distinctiveness comes from several sources...First: the Warsaw Philharmonic. The orchestra disproves anyone’s idea that Czech orchestras ‘own’ this music…They’re a world-class orchestra at top form, but much of the credit belongs to Antoni Wit, who shapes this Taras Bulba in entirely new — and entirely logical — ways.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.