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CHAN 3106M
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CHAN 3106
(multiple CD Set)
Opera - Janufa

Janacek: Jenufa

The Classical Shop
release date: May 2004

Originally recorded in 2003


Orchestra of Welsh National Opera

Sir Charles Mackerras

Neal Davies

baritone - Foreman

Alan Fairs

bass - Mayor

Elizabeth Vaughan

mezzo-soprano - Grandmother Buryjovka

Imelda Drumm

mezzo-soprano - Maid

Marian McCullogh

mezzo-soprano - Mayor's Wife

Sarah Pope

mezzo-soprano - Village woman

Rosie Hay

soprano - Barena

Claire Hampton

soprano - Jano

Janice Watson

soprano - Jenufa

Charlotte Ellett

soprano - Karolka

Dame Josephine Barstow

soprano - The Kostelnicka

Nigel Robson

tenor - Laca Klemen

Peter Wedd

tenor - Števa Buryja

Chorus of Welsh National Opera


Brangwyn Hall, Swansea


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Michael Common


Record Label
Opera In English


Vocal & Song

Opera in English

Total Time - 120:41
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Opera - Janufa



Select Complete Single Disc for

Jenufa, her step-daughter (Brno version)

  Opera in three acts  
  Libretto by the composer after Gabriela Preissová's play Jefí pastorkyna  
  English version by Edward Downes and Otakar Kraus  
  Act I  
  Scene 1  
1 'Soon it will be evening' 11:59
  Jenufa, Grandmother Buryja, Laca, Jano  
  Scene 2  
2 'What are you doing here, Laca?' 5:07
  Foreman, Laca, Jenufa, Grandmother Buryja, Kostelnicka  
  Scene 3  
3 'Come now, Jenufa' 0:37
  Grandmother Buryja, Jenufa  
  Scene 4  
4 'They're all for marrying' 1:46
  Recruits, Števa, Jenufa, Foreman, Laca  
  Scene 5  
5 'My dear heart, my Števa, Števuška!' 13:03
  Jenufa, Števa, Chorus, Kostelnicka, Grandmother Buryja, Laca, Foreman  
  Scene 6  
6 'Števa, Števa, I know you got drunk today' 5:32
  Jenufa, Števa, Grandmother Buryja  
  Scene 7  
7 'How all this boasting of Števa' 4:31
  Laca, Jenufa, Grandmother Buryja, Foreman, Barena  
  Act II  
  Scene 1  
8 Introduction 1:16
9 'If I leave the door ajar a little' 7:11
  Kostelnicka, Jenufa  
  Scene 2  
10 'Yes, in all these twenty weeks' 2:05
  Scene 3  
11 'Aunt Kostelnicka, in the note you sent me' 8:49
  Števa, Kostelnicka, Jenufa, Laca  
  Scene 4  
12 'But I saw a man come in here just now' 3:11
  Laca, Kostelnicka  
  Scene 5  
13 'One moment. . . In that moment must I lose hope' 3:50
  Scene 6  
14 'Mamicka, my head is aching' 9:01
  Scene 7  
15 'Who is there?' 5:51
  Jenufa, Kostelnicka  
  Scene 8  
16 'He's coming now!. . .' 6:17
  Kostelnicka, Laca, Jenufa  
  Act III  
  Scene 1  
17 'Don't you feel nervous, Jenufka?' 2:35
  Maid, Jenufa, Laca, Kostelnicka  
  Scene 2  
18 'God be with you!' 4:26
  Mayor, Maid, Laca, Jenufa, Kostelnicka, Mayor's Wife  
  Scene 3  
19 'There now, Laca, just as I foresaw' 3:51
  Jenufa, Laca  
  Scene 4  
20 'Aha! Here they are' 2:38
  Laca, Karolka, Števa, Jenufa  
  Scene 5  
21 'There's no denying that all that was really a sight worth seeing' 0:16
  Mayor, Kostelnicka, Laca, Mayor's Wife  
  Scene 6  
22 'God be with you one and all!' 3:20
  Barena, Peasant Girls, Mayor, Jenufa, Laca, Grandmother Buryja, Chorus, Kostelnicka  
  Scene 7  
23 'What baby's that they're shouting about?' 0:30
  Kostelnicka, Jano, Mayor, Števa, Chorus  
  Scene 8  
24 'Come quickly now!' 0:44
  Jano, Kostelnicka, Grandmother Buryja  
  Scene 9  
25 'Števa, this is terrible. . .' 0:43
  Karolka, Jenufa, Števa, Laca  
  Scene 10  
26 'Ha, there now, you see his baby clothes!' 4:02
  Jenufa, Mayor's Wife, Village Woman, Mayor, Chorus, Laca, Kostelnicka, Karolka, Maid  
  Scene 11  
27 'Do not kneel, dear mother!' 3:55
  Jenufa, Kostelnicka, Laca  
  Scene 12  
28 'They have gone! Now you go!' 3:35
  Jenufa, Laca  
 Elizabeth Vaughan mezzo-soprano - Grandmother Buryjovka
 Dame Josephine Barstow soprano - The Kostelnicka
 Janice Watson soprano - Jenufa
 Peter Wedd tenor - Števa Buryja
 Nigel Robson tenor - Laca Klemen
 Neal Davies baritone - Foreman
 Alan Fairs bass - Mayor
 Marian McCullogh mezzo-soprano - Mayor's Wife
 Charlotte Ellett soprano - Karolka
 Claire Hampton soprano - Jano
 Rosie Hay soprano - Barena
 Imelda Drumm mezzo-soprano - Maid
 Sarah Pope mezzo-soprano - Village woman
 Sir Charles Mackerras
  20-26 July 2003  
Sir Charles Mackerras, one of the world’s leading experts on Janácek’s music, conducts this new recording of Jenufa, her step-daughter.

Jenufa was first performed in Janácek’s home town of Brno. Twelve years later it was produced in Prague and the composer was forced to accept cuts and reorchestration of the score to soften the work’s savage impact. It was only this year, on the occasion of the opera’s centenary, that Brno was able to hear the music as the composer intended. It is this version which appears on this set.

Jenufa is the warmest and most lyrical of Janácek’s operas, and is the ideal starting place for anyone wishing to explore this great opera composer.

The recording boasts a distinguished cast list. The two leading characters are performed by singers who have previously appeared on important recordings for Chandos – Janice Watson as Ellen in the Grammy-Award winning Peter Grimes, and Dame Josephine Barstow as Marie in the universally acclaimed Wozzeck.

Jenufa, Janácek’s first theatrical masterpiece, is the tragedy of two women – Jenufa, the vain and impulsive young rural beauty, and Kostelnic¡ka, her severe, religious and forceful stepmother – entwined in the consequences of their emotions. The work is based on a story by Gabriela Preissová, whose short stories and dramas of Moravian village life were among the first Czechoslovakian works of ‘kitchen sink’ realism and the story on which Jenufa is based, Her Foster-daughter, caused something of a scandal when it was first published in 1890. It is a grim tale of Jenufa, a village girl whose illegitimate child is murdered by her stepmother to protect Jenufa’s honour and wedding prospects.

Janácek was a late developer and was already in his early forties when he began work on the opera. Eight years elapsed between the writing of the first and second acts. There are still hints of traditional romantic opera in the early scenes, though Janácek’s unique musical world is apparent from the opening bars. By the time the curtain opens on the second act, however, there is no doubt that we are in the presence of a theatrical master craftsman. The opening notes – an abrupt fortissimo chord and a shuddering string tremolo – plunge us into the claustrophobia of the Kostelnic¡ka’s cottage. The emotional intensity of this act brings to mind the mature operas of Puccini and it is fascinating to think of the young Tuscan and the Moravian working simultaneously on dramas which focus on young women abandoned by the fathers of their new-born children. What separates Jenufa and Madame Butterfly, though, is Janácek’s total lack of sentimentality. This, along with the severe conclusion, proved too much for his contemporaries, and he was forced to accept cuts and reorchestrations to soften the impact of the original.

'In the hands of that master Janácek conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras, this Englsih-language recording puts a finger on the work's pulse: it's a truly magnificent performance.'
Gramophone 'Editor's Choice'

The recording is based on the acclaimed production of Jenufa from Welsh national Opera, which means that both singers and players have a knowledge and obvious affection for the score from the inside adding to the sense of a live performance.
The Guardian 'Classical CD of the Week'

'It will always be something of a special case, given that it's in English. But for sheer immediacy and clear comprehensibility this is a remarkable achievement. More to the point, the whole performance is outstandingly idiomatic, thrillingly sung and played, and conducted with absolute mastery.'
International Record Review

'It's an extremely effective performance of a marvellous work, and packs a powerful punch.'
Opera Now

'The English translation comes across with great immediacy, with Mackerras tailoring Janácek's sometimes over-effusive orchestration in favour of the singers, who acquit themselves with all the dramatic involvement and vocal security born of long stage experience.'
The Telegraph

Classical CD of the Week
'The recording is based on the acclaimed production of Jenufa from Welsh national Opera, which means that both singers and players have a knowledge and obvious affection for the score from the inside adding to the sense of a live performance.'
The Guardian

…a truly magnificent achievement.
Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’

'This should not be the only Jenufa in your collection, but after listening to it the Czech original' will be clearer and more meaningful.'
American Record Guide

No User Reviews Found.