Janacek: Orchestral Works - Volkov
Classical - Orchestral
Janacek: The Eternal Gospel, The Ballad of Blaník, The Fiddler's Child, The Excursions of Mr Broucvek
Gweneth-Ann Jeffers (soprano)
Adrian Thompson (tenor)
Edinburgh Festival Chorus
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov (conductor)
Review by Graham Williams - September 3, 2005
The work of main interest here is “The Eternal Gospel”, a most impressive piece, described by Janacek as ‘a Legend’, for soprano, tenor, mixed chorus and orchestra written in 1913.
Janacek's unique sound world is conjured up within minutes of the orchestral introduction, and the work is full of his most lyrical writing (lovely violin solos) as well as exciting vocal parts.The two soloists sound suitably Slavic, although I would have liked more steadiness and a less forced tone from the soprano, Gweneth-Ann Jeffers. Anyone who enjoys Janacek's operas, the Glagolitic Mass or orchestral music will revel in this piece.
The more well-known pieces, The Fiddler’s Child and The Ballad of Blaník, receive equally engaging performances while the less familiar suite from The Excursions of Mr. Broucek benefits from alert and crisp playing from the BBC Scottish SO who perform magnificently for their chief conductor, Ilan Volkov, throughout.
I do wonder, however, why one movement of this suite, entitled ‘Between Dream and Reality’ has been omitted. It is present on the Behlohlávek/Supraphon RBCD.
The recording was made in the spacious acoustic of the Caird Hall, Dundee, a venue often used by Chandos as well as Hyperion. The reliable and experienced team of Simon Eadon (engineer) and Andrew Keener (producer) have obtained a sound that is warm, has impact, and yet is crystal clear. The organ used both in “ The Eternal Gospel” and the suite makes its presence felt.
No details are given of the recording type, so I presume it to be PCM.
The surround channels are used discreetly to provide the usual welcome ambience.
A most enjoyable disc.
Copyright © 2005 Graham Williams and HRAudio.net