Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Edward Gardner – Janacek: Orchestral Works, Volume 1 (2014)
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Edward Gardner conducts the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in the opening volume in their series devoted to orchestral works by Leoš Janáček. It features three pieces that originate in Janáček’s late period, when his passionate feelings for Kamila Stösslová, thirty-seven years his junior, inspired an extraordinary flowering of his creative genius.
The Sinfonietta is one of Janáček’s most successful and popular works, famed for its opening movement, a brazen fanfare scored for a phalanx of brass with timpani. The remaining four movements, full of character, celebrate Janáček’s adopted town of Brno, blending occasional reflection with high-voltage exuberance.
Scored unusually for left-hand piano and an ensemble of brass and flute, the Capriccio is remarkable even among Janáček’s distinctive late works. Its overall effect is mercurial and capricious, in the composer’s words: ‘whimsical, all wilfulness and witticisms’. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet employs his formidable technique and interpretative flair in the solo part.
The Cunning Little Vixen, Janáček’s opera from 1923, was not universally well received at first. A number of its orchestral interludes, however, were immediately popular and after Janáček’s death in 1928 Václav Talich, a leading Czech conductor, extracted an orchestral suite, re-orchestrated by two young colleagues. Recently Sir Charles Mackerras restored Janáček’s striking original orchestration, the version recorded here.
the players are brilliant and the sound is glorious, very skilfully recorded…the Bavouzet performs dazzling feats of virtuosity with a truly exacting solo part; and the extraordinary, fascinating textures are displayed by both artists and recording engineers. – Gramophone Magazine, December 2014
While both the Sinfonietta and the suite…receive fine performances – and in the case of the Sinfonietta’s later movements, particularly feisty, urgent ones – it’s the account of the wonderfully quirky Capriccio between them with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet as soloist that hogs the limelight. – The Guardian, 16th October 2014
Janáček: Sinfonietta 23:28
I. Allegretto 2:08
II. Andante 6:13
III. Moderato 5:20
IV. Allegretto 3:04
V. Andante con moto 6:43
Janáček: Capriccio for piano (left hand) & chamber ensemble, JW VII / 12 ‘Vzdor’ 20:1
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano), Ingela Oien (flute), Gary Peterson (trumpet), Jon Behncke (trumpet), Christopher Dudley (trombone), Oyvind Hage (trombone), Kjell Erik Husom (bass trombone), Hans Andreas Kjolberg (euphonium)
I. Allegro 5:02
II. Adagio 5:15
III. Allegretto 3:39
IV. Andante 6:20
Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen Suite, JW I / 9 (arr. C. Mackerras for orchestra) 20:17
I. The forest: Andante – Tempo I – Allegro – Tempo di Walzer 9:51
II. The Vixen at the Gamekeeper’s farmyard – The Vixen dreams – The Vixen escapes 10:26
Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester
Recorded: 10-12 March 2014
Recording Venue: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway