Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leos Janacek - Sarka - Urbanova, Straka, Mackerras, Czech Philharmonic

Sárka was Janácek's first opera, discarded until the composer dug it out after the success of Jenufa, revised it, and had it performed in 1925. Janácek was fond of the work, but it fell into obscurity. One reason is its succinctness. Barely over an hour, the narrative is severely telescoped. Sárka, drawn from Czech mythology, Leos Janacek is an Amazonian warrior, leader of a band of fierce women fighters ready to do battle with Ctirad, the tenor leader of their opponents. The protagonists meet, fall instantly in love, and just as instantly, Sárka sets a trap and her band beats Ctirad to death. Sárka then goes to the enemy camp and, distraught by her betrayal, commits suicide. Janácek's music here is more conventionally Romantic than it became, although hints of his later style peek through the revision. The opening instrumental prelude is lovely, but the drama is too abruptly sketched to create much involvement. Supraphon's team, though, makes a strong case for the work. Eva Urbanová, today's leading Czech soprano, is the star, and the others acquit themselves well. Sir Charles Mackerras and his crack orchestra are outstanding. Whatever its deficiencies as a stage work, this is an important release that enlarges our knowledge of the composer, making it a must-have for Janácek's growing army of admirers. --Dan Davis
flac, covers


  1. Please check back in a few days...

  2. if it's possible to reup or share a link that would be amazing


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