Tuesday, February 18, 2014

THE best Janacek recording

I mentioned in my first entry that I got my start listening to classical records as a young child. I had a portable phonograph, and my dad gave me a small stack of records that were likely duplicates, or perhaps too scratched to stay in his collection. One of the records was this one, the Sinfonietta and Taras Bulba by Leos Janacek. I think it's a good bet that there weren't too many seven-year olds listening to this music at the time...or now for that matter. The glorious brass introduction of the Sinfonietta, even on the tiny speaker of my record player, captivated me. Since those early years, I have listened to many other interpretations of these two pieces, but none can match the passion and intensity of this recording. It was recorded in Prague by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Karel Ancerl in 1961. So do yourself a favor and check it out. Interestingly as well, I never really got into Taras Bulba as a child. It wasn't until many years later that I re-visited Taras Bulba, and it has now replaced the Sinfonietta as my favorite. But they are both great.

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