Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Leos Janacek, Antonin Dvorak, Robert Shaw|
Janacek; Dvorak: Glagolitic Mass; Te Deum, Op. 103
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Buy It For the Janacek
Eugene G. Barnes | Dunn Loring, VA USA | 03/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Janacek gets five stars and takes up two-thirds of the CD. If you don't mind my characterizing the Dvorak as filler, I guess I could be excused for being a little disingenuous by giving the Te Deum only three stars and not factoring it into the above rating.For those not familiar with his music, Janacek is a unique composer. His music is full-sounding but actually relatively sparse in content, relying on repetitions of thematic fragments to build up a mood. (I wonder how many of today's minimalists bow in the direction of this Moravian composer's grave every day.) Written late in life (1926; died 1928), the Glagolitic Mass is Janacek at his boldest and most self-assured.Shaw's realization of the Mass is de facto definitive. The chorus is never allowed to lose sight of the larger structure of the work; its phrasing is carefully molded to enhance the cumulating of tension so important to this piece. By the end you are drained, as you should be. This is precisely the kind of choral music-making that has made Robert Shaw the kind of almost mythical colossus he is.Not so, unfortunately, with the Dvorak filler. I've become convinced over the years that the Te Deum is one of Dvorak's greatest pieces of music (hailing from Dvorak's final, American period), but I have yet to find a good, powerful recording of it, including this one. But this tepid rendition, with its frustrating lack of commitment (especially from the orchestra) and its non-stimulating, non-animated, downright boring final two pages, can nevertheless serve as a placeholder until a better one comes along."
Two great performances
Samuel Stephens | TN, USA | 08/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Janacek: This isn't quite up to the Chailly standards, as I see it...but nevertheless Robert Shaw does the work justice. The accents are a problem, but not terribly so. Shaw makes it feel like more of a "mainstream" work, such as Mozart's Requuiem. Don't let this frighten you: there's all the rugged glory here, but not necessarily the bite.
Dvorak: this Te Deum of Dvorak's a real good work. Not 'great', but definitely a fine work. The only problem is with the first movement: if you have watched Spongebob Squarepants and heard the theme song, it will be hard to not think of it when you listen to this. It's just one of those freak coincidences. I haven't heard any other performance of this work, but I certainly can't name a single complaint against this one: Good choral work, the right feel of Dvorak, and an overall jubilant sound."