Rainsongs and other Works features music by Karel Janovicky, performed by John Turner, Lesley-Jane Rogers, Joan Taylor and The Manchester Camerata Ensemble.
Karel Janovický was born in 1930 in the west-Bohemian town of Pilsen (Plze 328;) in the then Czechoslovakia. His father was a singer at the local opera. Karel had piano lessons from early childhood and his earliest compositions include songs he wrote for his father whom he later on accompanied in public performances. In 1949 he left the country for Germany and a year later came to England to study and eventually to settle. He received a Master of Music degree from the Royal College of Music and had composition lessons with Matyas Seiber. In 1953 he was awarded the Dutch Gaudeamus Foundation prize and in 1957 won the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 'Garland for Shakespeare' competition with his Variations on a theme of Robert Johnson, Op.17, premiered subsequently by the Bournemouth S.O. under Sir Charles Groves. In 1964 he took the post of producer in the BBC Gramophone Department and three year later moved to the BBC World Service where for the last ten years before retirement he directed the Czechoslovak Service. Throughout his career he continued to compose, much of it chamber music but also a one-act opera The Utmost Sail on a sci-fi subject. He also built up a reputation for coaching choirs, singers and opera in the Czech vocal repertoire. As a publicist he has written and broadcast on a number of related subjects and translated and edited Jaroslav Vogel's biography of Janácek.