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CHAN 3029
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CHAN 3029
Opera - Osud (Fate)

Janacek: Osud (Fate)

The Classical Shop
release date: September 1999

Originally recorded in 1998


Orchestra of Welsh National Opera

Sir Charles Mackerras

Helen Field

soprano - Míla Valkova

Kathryn Harries

soprano - Míla's mother

Philip Langridge

tenor - Zivny

Chorus of Welsh National Opera


Brangwyn Hall, Swansea


James Mallinson

Jane Woodfield



Mark Vigars

Peter Newble


Record Label
Opera In English


Vocal & Song

Opera in English

Total Time - 78:34
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Opera - Osud (Fate)



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Osud (Fate)

  Opera in three acts  
  Libretto by Leoš Janácek and Fedora Bartošova  
  English translation by Rodney Blumer  
  Act I  
1 Orchestra 1:42
2 Orchestra (Music from the bandstand) 3:30
  'Free as a bird I bask in the sunshine'  
  A poet  
3 'Heavens, it's him!' 4:53
4 'Is it your child you've come for?' 5:56
5 ' ''Sun in the heavens up on high'' ' 1:56
  Dr Suda  
6 'We're back too late' 4:39
7 'The sun's vanished' 5:47
8 'Never will I forget this fleeting moment!' 4:46
  Act II  
9 Orchestra 5:18
  'Slumber on undisturbed in the shadow'  
10 Piano 3:08
  'I do, I do!'  
11 'We're married now' 2:50
12 'Mummy, Mummy!' 2:24
13 'Unspoken thoughts go far beyond words' 3:37
  Míla's mother  
  Act III  
14 Orchestra 3:43
  'Listen to the thunder over the horizon'  
15 ' ''Endless the pain I must suffer'' ' 1:58
16 Orchestra 4:49
  'Enough of that!'  
17 ' ''Mummy, Mummy! Do you know what love is?'' ' 3:18
18 'People said it must have been his falling in love' 4:23
19 'Bitter memories!' 5:46
20 'It seems to be so clear' 4:11
 Helen Field soprano - Míla Valkova
 Philip Langridge tenor - Zivny
 Kathryn Harries soprano - Míla's mother
 Sir Charles Mackerras
  13-18 July 1989  
Renowned tenor Philip Langridge heads the cast in this acclaimed recording of Osu from the world’s leading Janácek conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras.

This disc, together with the recently released La Traviata, Mary Stuart and Julius Caesar, forms part of a new and exciting phase in Chandos’ popular Opera in English series.

This recording on Chandos (originally released in 1990) is now the only version of the work available in English in CD

This recording forms part of Chandos’ on-going Opera in English series, made in association with the Peter Moores Foundation.

Janácek began writing Osud (Fate) in 1903 at the Moravian Sap of Luhacovice, where he went to overcome the death of his daughter Olga earlier that year. He set to work imagining an opera that would be largely about himself, completely realistic, drawn from life at a sap. It was finally staged in 1958 after being previously withdrawn by Janácek. Although staging can be problematic, a recorded performance is the idea way to enjoy some of Janácek’s most incandescent music.

Before the opera begins, Mila and a composer Zivny have had an affair and a child. Mila’s mother, fearful of her daughter marrying a penniless composer, had done her best to split them up. The opera begins on a fine day in a spa town with the crowds out enjoying the sunshine. Mila and Zivny meet by chance and decide to go off together before Mila’s mother can stop them. Act two opens with Mila, Zivny their child and her mother living together. Mila’s mother is deranged by the catastrophe of her daughter’s marriage and is watched over by servants. However she eludes the servants and, after mockingly singing one of the love songs from Zivny’s unfinished operas, runs off with Mila pursuing her. Off-stage they both topple to their deaths over the balcony.

Eleven years later students are trying out a passage from Zinvy’s completed opera which is about to receive its premiere. The student Verva enters and tells them more about the work, believing it to be autobiographical and without the last act. When Zivny suddenly appears they ask him to tell them more about the opera, which he does with passion. The emotional charge of personal recollections become too great for him and, against the background of a storm, he collapses at the sight of a vision of his dead wife. In his final words he maintains that the last act is still in God’s hands.

"Janacek’s - most unjustly neglected - opera, richly lyricl, more sustained and less fragmented than his later operas, is not just a valuable rarity but makes an ideal introduction to this composer... The warmly atmospheric ... recording made in Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, brings out the unusual opulence of the Janacek sound, yet it allows the words to come over with fine clarity..."

The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

Sir Charles Mackerrass conducting in this Welsh National Opera recording confirms the [scores] musical strength… this fine recording in English brings out its winning warmth…
The Guardian

Sir Charles Mackerras wins playing from the orchestra that is indeed incandescent.

…capturing the full gustiness, passion and impetus of the composers inspiration…
The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs

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