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NX 2639
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NX 2639

JANACEK, L.: Glagolitic Mass / Sinfonietta (Libor, Marciniec, Bentch, Gierlach, Malanowicz, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Wit)

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2012

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master


Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

Wit, Antoni

Antoni Wit


Ewa Marciniec


Warsaw Philharmonic Choir


Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw, Poland

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 63:05
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JANACEK, L.: Glagolitic Mass / Sinfonietta (Libor, Marciniec, Bentch, Gierlach, Malanowicz, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Wit)

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Msa glagolskaja (Glagolitic Mass), JW III/9 (final version)

1 Uvod (Introduction) 3:01
 Ewa Marciniec Soloist
2 Gospodi pomiluj (Kyrie) (Soprano, Chorus) 3:29
 Ewa Marciniec Soloist
3 Slava (Gloria) (Soprano, Tenor, Chorus) 6:27
 Ewa Marciniec Soloist
4 Veruju (Credo) (Tenor, Bass, Chorus) 10:52
 Ewa Marciniec Soloist
5 Svet (Sanctus) (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus) 6:38
 Ewa Marciniec Soloist
6 Agnece Bozij (Agnus Dei) (Soloists, Chorus) 4:32
 Ewa Marciniec Soloist
7 — [organ solo] 2:50
 Ewa Marciniec Soloist
8 Intrada 1:44
 Ewa Marciniec Soloist

Sinfonietta, JW VI/18

9 I. Allegretto 2:32
 Antoni Wit Conductor
10 II. Andante 5:57
 Antoni Wit Conductor
11 III. Moderato 5:06
 Antoni Wit Conductor
12 IV. Allegretto 2:55
 Antoni Wit Conductor
13 V. Andante con moto 7:02
 Antoni Wit Conductor
 Wit, Antoni

Leoš Janácek’s dramatic Glagolitic Mass is set to a ninth century Old Church Slavonic text. With its highly individual synthesis of thunderous brass outbursts, rhythmic energy, radiant melodies and interludes of rapt contemplation, the work has established itself as a unique contribution to the choral repertoire. An avowed statement of his belief and patriotic pride in Czechoslovakian national independence, Janácek’s Sinfonietta uses spectacular large-scale orchestral forces. Both of these works belong to the composer’s last and most inspired decade, and represent his mature musical language at its most communicative.

"...Antoni Wit shapes an appreciably musical account that is always going somewhere, is very well prepared, and with plenty of mystical magic along the way…Wit plays the long game and encourages an appropriate raw edge at times. Christiane Libor is a fearless soprano ... Jaroslaw Malanowicz takes the organ solos with aplomb. This would be a great budget-price introduction to a work that is genuinely unique. Standing out is the Sinfonietta, the opening and closing movements, with their extra contingent brass, really blaze and are confidently played. The middle movements are also alive with frisson and depiction; poignant and exuberant music. This whole performance buzzes! The sound is spacious and open, the chorus and the brass very well defined in a spacious acoustic. The choir and soloists are imposing."

Colin Anderson - HiFi Critic - March 2012

‘…Wit and his Polish forces come out of it all extremely well indeed.’

Paul Sarcich - Music & Vision - January 2012

"Antoni Wit’s Warsaw Philharmonic forces plug directly into the emotional power of Janácek’s music, reacting like demons to the distinct undulations of its speech-inspired melodic lines and spanning a rich tonal spectrum all too often missing in performances of the Glagolitic Mass..."

Andrew Stewart - Classic FM - February 2012

‘…Wit and his Polish forces come out of it all extremely well indeed.’

Paul Sarcich - Music & Vision - January 2012

"...the new contender is seriously competitive, both in terms of the quality of the musicianship and interpretation on display, as well as the recorded sound... this is a performance which is gripping from start to finish. The polished choral singing is a joy, with excellent pitching throughout, especially in the cruelly exposed unaccompanied entries. The orchestra’s contribution is equally distinguished. How refreshing it is to hear such ‘unhomogenised’ clarinet- and trumpet-playing. The solo quartet also acquits itself favourably ... As a bonus, the new Sinfonietta recording easily supplants Ondrej Lenárd’s 20-year-old recording for Naxos with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. The balance is first-rate and no tiny detail is overlooked."

Malcolm Riley - Gramophone magazine - January 2012

                Culture Catch Best of 2011: #14

"The increasingly great Polish conductor Antoni Wit ... delivers the best digitally recorded version I’ve heard of the standard edition of the Glagolitic Mass."

Steve Holtje - Culture Catch - January 2012


"The Naxos label has done excellent work in bringing the music-making of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Antoni Wit (and its fine associated choir) to wider distribution. There are a number of fine recordings of Leos Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass and the perversely named Sinfonietta...But this one, unusually well recorded on a couple of occasions at Warsaw’s Philharmonic Hall, can stand with any of them. These are clear, confident interpretations that do justice to both of these late Janácek pieces, masterworks of the 20th century."

James Manheim - - December 2011

                  Artistic Quality 10                Sound Quality 10
"Truth be told, there are few organizations better equipped to deliver satisfying performances of large choral works than Antoni Wit and his Warsaw forces. The choir is excellent, top to bottom; likewise, the orchestra. It’s also impossible not to mention Jaroslaw Malanowicz’s scorcher of an organ solo, and a conclusion that effectively lets the colorful weirdness of Janácek’s brass writing register without exaggeration. It’s a wonderful performance, plain and simple. The return of the opening fanfare is handled perfectly, and the closing chords hit you with that physical thrill that always registers in the best performances. This is, by any standard, a major release—a mandatory purchase for anyone who loves this music, or wants to get to know it...."

David Hurwitz - - November 2011

"Livelier choral music comes from Warsaw, where Antoni Wit leads his forces through Janácek’s Glagolithic Mass, which I remember was greeted with cries of sacrilege when first heard at the Phil. Now we are used to this strange piece with its striking and difficult organ solo. It’s coupled with the Sinfonietta with its fine 13 extra-brass in the fanfare. This is another Naxos release, and gains not only from brilliant performances, but also the excellent sound realised in Warsaw’s new concert hall..."

Peter Spaull - Liverpool Daily Post - December 2011

"Two outstanding concert works from the Czech composer’s last decade

Wit conducts his Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir in the two outstanding concert works from Janácek’s last decade. Both underline the Czech composer’s blazing originality—the Glagolitic Mass through his ecstatic setting of a ninth century Old Church Slavonic text, the Sinfonietta through the fanfare-like role he gives the brass in a symphonic context. Both pieces receive crisp, radiant and transparent performances." ****

Andrew Clark - Financial Times - November 2011

"Janácek’s two highly popular concert works performed with the virtuosity of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and its outstanding choir. In a musical language that is full of pungent colours, the Mass is unlike any other sacred work, and derives much from Janácek’s operas in the taxing roles for four solo singers. Antoni Wit’s performance of the Sinfonietta is unhurried, its much enlarged brass section bringing the requisite tingle factor to the fanfares of the outer movements. Recorded in a spacious and wide dynamic sound."

Yorkshire Post - November 2011

"Antoni Wit excels as a Janácek interpreter, encompassing the vivid colours of the orchestration and drawing stirring singing from the chorus. The soprano soloist Christiane Libor has the ideal dramatic fervour for his music..." ****

Michael Kennedy - Sunday Telegraph - November 2011

"...Wit and his Warsaw forces have the measure of this extraordinary mass...A good Glagolitic Mass and superb Sinfonietta make this disc excellent value.

Leslie Wright - - 8 August 2012


Riccardo Cassani - Musica magazine - March 2012

"...Imaginative, finely crafted performances of two 20th-century masterworks, joyful and generous in spirit..."  ****

Andrew Stewart -  Classic FM magazine - February 2011

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