OP0490. SARKA (Leos Janácek), recorded 1953, Prague, w.Bretislav Bakala Cond. Brno Radio Chorus & S.O.; Antonín Jurecka, Frantisek Kunc, Alena Nováková & Josef Válka. (Czech Republic) Multisonic 31 0154, w.23pp. Brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy!
"When Zeyer's text to SARKA came into Janácek's hands he wasted no time setting it to music. It was by far his most substantial work to date. Although thirty-three, he had come to composition late and had so far written mostly chamber and solo instrumental music, church music and male-voice choruses. There was no orchestral music aside from two works for strings. By August 1887, he had set the Opera in vocal score and sent it off to his mentor, Dvorak. Dvorak's assessment was 'quite' good, so then Janácek wrote to Zeyer for permission to use the text and here is where the project died. Janácek had completed two of the three acts in full score. In January 1918, while looking through a chest of his old music, Janácek came upon the score of SARKA. By now things had changed dramatically for him. Jenufu had just had a tremendous success, he was a serious opera composer. He completely reworked SARKA, got permission from the poet's estate to set the text and the revised work was given in Brno on November 11, 1925, where it was received with 'affection'. We are pleased to be able to bring this wonderful historic recording back into the catalogue. For a full appreciation of Janácek, one must be familiar with this music."