Jenufa (Janacek)  (Mackerras;  Soderstrom, Ochman, Dvorsky, Randova, Popp)  (2-Decca 414 483)
Item# OP0549
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Product Description

Jenufa (Janacek)  (Mackerras;  Soderstrom, Ochman, Dvorsky, Randova, Popp)  (2-Decca 414 483)
OP0549. JENUFA (Janácek), recorded 1982, w.Mackerras Cond. Vienna Staatsoper Ensemble; Elisabeth Söderström, Wieslav Ochman, Petr Dvorský, Eva Randová, Lucia Popp, etc.; Jealousy - overture (Janacek). (Germany) 2-Decca 414 483, Slipcase Edition, w.207pp. libretto-booklet. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 028941448323


“Despite some fine, recent competition, this 1982 recording is still the JENUFA to own. Charles Mackerras, long a Janácek champion, understands the composer's rhythms and uses them as they should be used - to underline the drama in this remarkably theatrical and beautiful work. Elisabeth Söderstrom's Jenufa remains the essence of this poor girl, the noble victim who finds both redemption and love, and while Eva Randova may not match Leonie Rysanek's intensity as the guilty, misled, catastrophe-causing Kostelnicka, she certainly can terrify and has no trouble with the big second-act climaxes. Peter Dvorsky and Wieslav Ochman shine as the half-brothers, and the rest of the cast performs idiomatically and as a great team. This performance is single-minded in a way that no other has achieved; once you begin listening, your instinct is to play the whole opera through.”

-Robert Levine,

“It's hard to think of a twentieth century Czech-language opera that has enjoyed more success than Leos Janácek's JENUFA, and there is certainly no shortage of good recordings of it. Among the most exceptional is this effort for Decca led by Charles Mackerras. Elisabeth Söderström is riveting in her portrayal of the small-town girl desperate that the empty-headed Steva, played by Petr Dvorský, will marry her and legitimize their child. Wieslav Ochman is alternatively menacing and touching as Steva's crazed, jealousy-confused rival and Lucia Popp makes a memorable turn in the relatively minor role of Karolka; Mackerras keeps things moving at a breathless pace. Perhaps one might concede that a 130-minute opera doesn't need ‘extras’, but this set has a couple of useful ones. It includes the last scene as revised, rather aggressively, by orchestrator Karel Kovarovic, and ‘Jealousy’, the original overture of JENUFA that Janácek had cast aside in favor of another, but that later became a popular concert work in its own right. Mackerras' JENUFA is an excellent choice for anyone interested in Leos Janácek's greatest operatic masterwork.”

- Uncle Dave Lewis,