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  • Janacek: Jenufa
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Janacek: Jenufa Original recording reissued


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, September 10, 2002
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Disc: 1
1. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 1. Prelude
2. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 1. Co ty, Jenufo
3. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 1. Dusa moja, Stevo, Stevusko!
4. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 1. A tak bychom sli celým zivotem
5. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 1. Stevo, Stevo, já vim
6. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 1. Jak rázem vsecko to Stevkovo vypínání schlípo
7. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 2. Prelude
8. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 2. Ba zabednena ta tvoje okenicka uz pres dvacet nedel
9. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 2. Tetko Kostelnicko, poslala jste cedulku
Disc: 2
1. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 2. Kdo to je?
2. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 2. Tot' zrovna jde!
3. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 3. Dej Buh stesti
4. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 3. A hen...uz jsou tu!
5. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 3. Vstante, pestounko moja!
6. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 3. Odesli
7. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Act 3. Odesli
8. Jenufa, opera, JW 1/4: Overture: Jealousy

Product Details

  • Performer: Dalibor Jedlicka, Elisabeth Söderström, Eva Randova, Marie Mrazova, Peter Dvorsky
  • Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Composer: Leos Janacek
  • Audio CD (September 10, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041QG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,945 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Virgil Moojen on February 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Knowing this recording and reliving it in the theater (if it is a good performence) is one of those experiences one doesn't forget easily. Like Puccini, Janacek appeals to our hearts. The two principle women deserve all the credit. Söderstöm sounds very much as the young peasant girl deserted by her lover. Listening to Randova one hears that she is a great singing actress. The supporting roles are very well cast and one couldn't ask for a more dedicated chorus and orchestra under the baton of Mackerras. This one is hard to beat.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tomas Cvrcek on September 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is really a brilliant opera. This is no belcanto, catchy-tunes, Verdi-style type of opera. It is a raw rural drama with sex, blood and deadly rage. There are several good things going for it:

(i) Although the story is hair-raising at times (infanticide), it is entirely credible (no babies mistakenly thrown in the fire here, unlike in Verdi's Il Trovattore) - this opera's libretto was not ordered to be written from scratch, it was first a stage play before becoming a libretto. For that reason, it had to have a convincing internal logic to succeed first as a play.

(ii) Janacek's music adds greatly to the story. The scene, in the third act, where the crime of infanticide is uncovered will send shivers down your spine.

(iii) Janacek is very good in using folk music motives. The opera is set in Moravian countryside and the music shows it. Apparently, he could come up with such convincing folk-sounding tunes that many experts thought them to be genuine folk songs, only arranged for opera.

(iv) The singing is good on this recoding. All the singers try hard to convey the emotion of their piece: they had to be very well acquaninted with the text - which is in Czech, an obscure language for many of the performers.

(v) The accompanying booklet does a great job explaining the background of the opera. And explaining you will need - for understanding the personal interrelationships alone.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Gustavo Chagoya Galaz on March 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Janacek compuso algunas de las mejores óperas del Siglo XX: Jenufa, Kata Kavanova, El Caso Makropulos, La Zorra Astuta y Desde la casa de los Muertos avalan este hecho. Jenufa es la primera de estas y la primera además en ser escrita en un estilo distintivamente individual - su primera obra maestra- y la primera en darle fama fuera de Checoslovaquia. Esta grabación es la primera en ofrecer la versión original de Janacek, ya que desde la segunda puesta en escena en Praga, la versión que había persistido fue la de Karel Kovarovic, de la cual puede escucharse la escena final en esta grabación. En esta grabación se puede escuchar la obertura original, que fue retirada después de 1908 y vuelta a interpretar como parte de la ópera hasta 1959: Zárlivost.
Sir Charles Mackerras muestra el porque es el mejor exponente actual de la mùsica de Janacek, su interpretación está llena de detalles. El sonido como siempre es de lo mejor, tiene el sello distintivo de Decca: Gran balance, brillantez, fuerza en los graves y agudos claros, en fin una extraordinaria grabación. La interpretación es excelente: Elisabeth Söderström, canta en mi opinión estupendamente a pesar de varios críticos que opinan lo contrario, su interpretación llega a ser francamente conmovedora. Eva Randová soporta el otro papel importante: Kostelnika y su interpretación es excelente en mi opinión. Considero que ésta es la mejor grabación que existe en el mercado y el punto de referencia para las demás. Si alguien quiere introducirse en este gran compositor, ésta es la ópera más adecuada, la recomiendo ampliamente.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Allen A. Smith on December 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Jenufa is the most lyrical of all Janacek's opera's. It is also one of the most dramatic. Eva Randova's brilliant and affecting performance as Kostelnicka brings out the beauty of music and the tragedy of the role. Elizabeth Soderstrom's Jenufa is beautifully sung and well-acted. Her "Zdravas Kralovno (Ave Maria)" is a bright gem in a beautiful setting.

Personally, I think Mackerras' reading of the overture is as it should be: loud and full of brass, like Janacek's Sinfonietta.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jt52 on December 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Leos Janacek's first major work, "Jenufa", was written late in his life, with the premiere occurring when the composer was 50 and the first major opera house performance given when he was 62. I found this opera beautiful. Charles Mackerras and Elisabeth Soderstrom headline a very successful recording.

What is "Jenufa" about? Based on a play about the Moravian middle class written by Gabriella Preissova - significantly, a woman - it tells us about Jenufa's passion for a rich, popular heir (the alpha male), who knocks her up. Jenufa's stepmother, sung by Czech mezzo Eva Randova in the other major role, kills the baby to spare Jenufa in a crime that is both vicious and kind-hearted from her own fate: of marrying the worthless heir and living unhappily ever after. The third act is one of forgiveness and redemption, in which Jenufa marries a lower status, but more stable man and accepts her stepmother's crime and the motives behind it. Based on his work here and elsewhere, Janacek was a gifted adapter of plays for his own operas. The events are not presented luridly and the four main characters have depth.

The music in style lies between the later music of Antonin Dvorak and Janacek's music from his last period, which produced major works like "Kata Kabanova", the string quartets and "The Makropoulos Affair" (among many others). The melodic interest is mostly located in the orchestral parts, with the voices being used in a declamatory way, Janacek emphasizing speech rhythms. While I didn't find "Jenufa" to be up to the level of a masterpiece like "Kat'a Kabanova" or the lovely Sonata 1905, it is an excellent opera that I recommend to you.
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