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Ancerl Gold Edition 7: Janacek/Glagolitic Mass & Taras Bulba

Libuse Domaninska , Vera Soukupova , Eduard Haken , Leos Janacek , Karel Ancerl , Czech Philharmonic Orchestra , Beno Blachut , Czech Philharmonic Chorus Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Ancerl Gold Edition 7: Janacek/Glagolitic Mass & Taras Bulba + Vol. 24-Ancerl Gold
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Product Details

  • Performer: Beno Blachut, Czech Philharmonic Chorus
  • Orchestra: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Karel Ancerl
  • Composer: Leos Janacek
  • Audio CD (October 29, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Supraphon
  • ASIN: B000071JX7
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,201 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ('Glagolitic Mass'), JW 3/9: I. Introduction
2. Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ('Glagolitic Mass'), JW 3/9: II. Gospodi pomiluj (Kyrie eleison
3. Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ('Glagolitic Mass'), JW 3/9: III. Slava (Gloria)
4. Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ('Glagolitic Mass'), JW 3/9: IV. Veruju (Credo)
5. Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ('Glagolitic Mass'), JW 3/9: V. Svet (Sanctus)
6. Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ('Glagolitic Mass'), JW 3/9: VI. Agnece Bozij (Agnus Dei)
7. Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ('Glagolitic Mass'), JW 3/9: VII. Postludium (Organ solo)
8. Mass (Msa glagolskaja) for soloists, double chorus, orchestra & organ ('Glagolitic Mass'), JW 3/9: VIII. Intrada (Exodus)
9. Taras Bulba, rhapsody for orchestra, JW 6/15: I. The Death of Andrey (Smrt Andrijova)
10. Taras Bulba, rhapsody for orchestra, JW 6/15: II. The Death of Ostap (Smrt Ostapova)
11. Taras Bulba, rhapsody for orchestra, JW 6/15: III. The Prophecy and Death of Taras Bulba (Proroctví a smrt Tarase Bulby)

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly special performance and recording... November 21, 2010
As far as I'm concerned, this is as good as it gets in terms of the Glagolitic Mass on CD -- and that comes from lots of experience, not only do I presently own 13 recordings, but I have been listening to this particular piece non-stop for at least the last month -- I just can't get enough. It's truly addictive, always rewarding.

It has absolutely everything, it's engrossing and enthralling and captivating and startling and soothing and primitive and pristine and incredibly spiritual without ever being dogmatic.

The organ, in particular, almost literally drives me up the wall with rapture -- the instrument is beautiful, the performance is incredible, the sound is extremely clear -- and honestly the pace that's chosen for the solo passages sounds almost makes it sound like a volcano slowly exploding, it's truly magical. The end effect of the entire experience is almost overwhelming.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancerl at his very best....... April 19, 2010
A recording of any mass by a great composer should stand on its own BEFORE one purchases it. This is easily said of this performance of Janacek's Glagolitic Mass. From its least interesting moments - the well registered but pedantic organ playing of Jarolslav Vodrazka - to its most exciting - the work of the Prague Philharmonic Chorus at every moment they're singing - Ancerl has assembled a stellar ensemble and offers us an exceptional reading.

Though less energetic and certainly not as frantic as Kubelik's classic recording on DG (just listen to the artery clogging ending to 'Slava'), Ancerl evokes a certain power from his players which draws me to the music every time. As far as soloists go, this foursome is unmatched on disc and will probably remain so. Soprano Domaninska is stunning in her diction and intonation and tenor Beno Blachut expertly manages to power through the cataclysmic 'Slava' without ever sacrificing musicianship.

I think the sound of the disc is amazing considering it was made nearly 50 years ago. This is a welcome addition if not initial investment into a Janacek collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This disc has been substantially improved on grounds of sound alone thanks to the 24 bit remastering. The Glagolitic Mass dates from 1963 and Taras Bulba from 1961. The playing and performances are both idiomatic and authentic, the Glagolitic Mass having additionally received the Grand Prix du Disc award in 1964 to underline the point.

The main work on this disc is probably therefore the Mass which was written and based on the Old Church Slavonic version. Furthermore Janacek made it clear that his intention was not to write a mass that was primarily Christian in its focus but rather that it should, as he himself put it 'capture faith in a nation, not on the basis of religion, but on the basis of morality and strength, to which God alone is held as witness.' Other worthwhile quotes to emphasise his focus are 'The fragrance of the damp Luhacovice forests was always an incense. A temple arose for me in the gigantic greatness of the forest with an arching sky, concealed in mist, extending into the distance; and the ringing little bells of a herd of sheep. I hear in the tenor solo a great priest, in the soprano a girl - an angel, in the chorus our people. The candles - the needles of the tall fir trees lit up by stars; and in the ritual, somewhere, there is the prophesy of saint Wenceslaus. And the language of the missionaries Cyril and Methodius.'

In this performance, all these clues become reality in a way that is aided by performers sharing the original language and concept base. This disc has an authenticity that would be close to impossible for non-Slavic performers to emulate, let alone improve upon.

The Taras Bulba piece focusses on three episodes in the life and death of Taras Bulba, the legendary Cossack freedom fighter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Supraphon is overselling by calling all of is recorded output gold, but there are many arresting performances in the series. This one of the Glagolitic Mass, released in 1964, is one of them. It wasn't in Ancerl's nature to be as raw and fierce in this score as Kubelik and others have been. He is often lyrical and tender. Fortunately for him, he has a soprano and tenor who encompass their treacherous parts without screaming. The Czech chorus is the best-sounding, most idiomatic and comfortable that I've ever heard. The Czech Phil. is more rustic -- or is it ragged? -- than several of the international orchestras who have recorded the work, but they too sound completely at home. I agree with the original Gramophone critic who found the organist too tame for his wild obligatto outburst. The same reviewer compared the late Mass with the Sinfonietta written just before it when Janacek was 72 and entering his miraculous late phase, which he called a "new jet from my soul": The Mass displays "the same brightness and pungency of timbre, the same fertile, vigorous way of building whole movements from a single motif."

Supraphon's sound has come up well in remastering, with clarity from orchestra, soloists and chorus. This recording has a you-are-there presence that immediately captures your attention, and it never loses its musicality in the midst of Janacek's impassioned exclamations. Only some strained, wobbly singing here and there is a drawback; otherwise, this reading is a standout in the catalog. As for the filler, Taras Bulba, the idiom of this three-movement Rhapsody for orchestra combines diffuse, almost easy-listen romanticism with enough mystery and tangy dissonance to tell us immediately who the composer is. It dates from 1918, when Janacek was 64; the great flood of late operas was two years away, Jenufa was 14 years behind. I've never quite gotten this disjointed work, but Ancerl gives it a piquant, sharply etched reading.
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