Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Leos Janacek, Claudio Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker|
Janácek: Sinfonietta; Tagebuch eines Verschollenen (The Diary of One Who Disappeared)
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
"New-old' Janacek, freshly presented
Polarius | Up North | 12/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, here's finally a great Sinfonietta that proves wrong all the false dichotomies between "visceral" and "thinking man's" playing: this is both, inseparably at once, as only Abbado can. Moreover it must be the best played version of it, ever, although I probably have not heard every recording available of it (I'm counting though). I think it's time to toss into the garbage bin those hackneyed notions about "gutsy" versus "too detailed/sophisticated" playing and admit that the former is often nothing but an excuse for poor performance lacking in insight and skill.
At first, I wasn't left too impressed by Abbado's choices here, to be sure, but after some concentrated listening this completely won me over, with all the subtleties and nuances not audible elsewhere put in their proper place by this conductor's perfect sense of structure and balances (this is where he always excels, almost in a class of his own). The excellent Berlin players really bring another dimension to the work, most pleasingly captured by the blessed DG engineers, and while awaiting for Boulez to hopefully have time to record it, too, this is now what I listen to when I crave for this work (making me even give away my Ancerl and Mackerras discs that now felt so grating and almost coarse [first] or nondescript and feeble [latter]). (Just listen to Boulez in his "Glagolitic Mass" from cso.org or check out the "From the House of the Dead" perfomance available on DVD!!)
A remarkable work in a most satisfying imaginable performance of it, then - what a reason for gratitude!
The "Diary" here is performed based on a 1943 orchestration primarily by Ota Zitek (the original is for piano accompaniment). The score is very faithful to the original without attempting to slavishly imitate Janacek's orchestral writing. It works very well indeed, oozing Janacekian content but as it were from a different angle, and giving extra space for those magnificent Berlin strings to shine. As Paul Winfield states, it's a very successful reinterpretation that deserves to be heard and recorded as an effective medium for us Janacek lovers to seek deeper into this composer's world. Philip Langridge is consistently impressive in his ability to characterize and I, too, would have ran away with Brigitte Balleys upon this hearing alone.
Most highly recommended on all grounds, in other words. Too bad it's out of print, but marketplaces copies seem to abound."