Wow Perfect Opera
R. Rockwell | Brooklyn, NY USA | 09/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set is the rerelease of the classic set by Mackerras that still remains a first choice despite other recordings made with completely Czech casts. Jenufa was the first masterpiece of an opera composed by Janacek who had trouble with previous librettists and wrote all librettos from Jenufa on. Jenufa is sung y the powerfull sopranoElizabeth Sodrstrum. The opera is based o a play by Gabriela Preissova and is quite dramatic from prelude with a soft repeated note on the xylophone that evokes the town's mill wheel which is the principle site of action.
Janacek's operas are marked by loosening of tonal mooring with spikes of dissonance. He employs Czech folk music at times and his choruses are always well composed and dramatically performed here. Jenufa is an opera about forgiveness and Jenufa is able forgive a whole lot. Jenufa in Act 1 is in love with another man is constantly rebuffing Laca who in a fit a anger slashes her face. Act 2 occurs five month later when Jenufa has n illegimate child by Steva.. She sings a quite moving extended aria about the hopes she has for her son. He mother Kostelnnicka in a remarkable performance by Eva Randova in one of the most demented of mad scenes in all of opera drowns Jenufar's son in the river is chilling with burst of percussion.
In Act 3 some workmen find Jenufa's son in the river and the mother confesses that she was only thinking about Jenufa who is able to forgive her and Laca.
Jenufa is one of my favorite operas it always brings me to tears.
Please excuse any typos I have a neurologic disease.