Janácek: Sinfonietta; Violin Concerto; Cunning Little Vixen

Janácek: Sinfonietta; Violin Concerto; Cunning Little Vixen

by Václav Neumann
     
 

On the whole, Arte Nova turns out respectable budget CDs, and the label's releases from the 1990s are usually worth a second look. However, this presentation of Leos Janácek's "Sinfonietta" (1926); the single-movement "Violin Concerto, Pilgrimage of the Soul" (1926, reconstructed by Milos Stedron and Leos Faltus<See more details below

Overview

On the whole, Arte Nova turns out respectable budget CDs, and the label's releases from the 1990s are usually worth a second look. However, this presentation of Leos Janácek's "Sinfonietta" (1926); the single-movement "Violin Concerto, Pilgrimage of the Soul" (1926, reconstructed by Milos Stedron and Leos Faltus in 1988); and the suite from "The Cunning Little Vixen" (1924) is something of a disappointment, not merely for the age of the recordings, which date from 1990 and 1986, but also for the fairly uninspired performances. Vaclav Neumann and the SWR Symphony Orchestra try to bring off the "Sinfonietta" with accuracy, but the brass are noticeably strained in their prominent parts, and the rest of the ensemble plays a little haltingly, perhaps as a result of unsteady direction. The "Violin Concerto," featuring Christiane Edinger as soloist, is a much smoother and coherent performance, since the violin's long lines give the other players something to relate to, even though the orchestral accompaniment seems loosely held together and quite changeable in texture and dynamics. The dance selections from "The Cunning Little Vixen" seem to have been less challenging to play thanks to their greater rhythmic regularity, and the performances are fairly enjoyable, if not especially brilliant or exciting. But when listeners approach Janácek, they should expect first-rate interpretations that really make the music work. Regrettably, the orchestra is not much better than average in its playing, and Neumann's direction seems unfocused, so don't expect any revelations in this collection. Arte Nova's sound is clear and usually well-balanced, but shallow and cool in tone.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2005
Label:
Arte Nova Classics
UPC:
0723721175153
catalogNumber:
304810
Rank:
100080

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Sinfonietta for orchestra ("Military," "Sokol Festival"), JW 6/18  - Leos Janácek  -  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra  - Václav Neumann  - Lindsay Chalmers-Gerbracht  - William D. Tennant
  2. Violin Concerto ("Putování dusicky," "Pilgrimage of the Soul"), JW 9/10 (fragments completed by others)  - Leos Janácek  -  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra  - Václav Neumann  - Lindsay Chalmers-Gerbracht  - William D. Tennant
  3. The Cunning Little Vixen, suite for orchestra (arranged and orchestrated by Václav Talich)  - Leos Janácek  -  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra  - Václav Neumann  - Lindsay Chalmers-Gerbracht  - William D. Tennant

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