Not only does this collection of orchestral works by Janáček follow two highly praised volumes with such great soloists as Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and James Ehnes, but it also features one of the composer’s most monumental works – with the vividly admired organist Thomas Trotter – along with three contrasting shorter pieces.
The Glagolitic Mass is considered his finest non-operatic work. It was premiered a year after the Sinfonietta – recorded in Volume 1 [CHSA5142] – to critical acclaim. This impressive piece makes full use of the orchestra and chorus, with virtuosic solo parts for tenor and soprano, as well as organ. It is set within a frame of purely orchestral movements in which the Bergen Orchestra and its new Chief Conductor, Edward Gardner, demonstrate with authority their deep empathy with the repertoire.
The album is completed by three highly diverse characteristic works: the mournful Adagio, the Slavonic Otče náš and the deeply personal Zdrávas Maria.
Sara Jakubiak (soprano), Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano), Stuart Skelton (tenor), Gábor Bretz (bass) & Thomas Trotter (organ), David Stewart (violin), Karstein Askeland (organ), Johannes Wik (harp)
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Choir & Choir of Collegiûm Mûsicûm, Edvard Grieg Kor & Bergen Cathedral Choir, Edward Gardner
"Gardner steers the clash of brass, strings, chorus and soloists with confidence, the instrumental outer movements ablaze with excitement, the whole well balanced but still dangerous and invigorating." (the guardian, 6. mars 2016)