Janáček: Kátya Kabanová

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Charles Mackerras conducts groundbreaking Janáček

Elisabeth Söderström etc; Vienna Philharmonic/Charles Mackerras (1977) Decca 475 7518

Released in 1977, in the years when Decca was at the height of its powers as an independent label, this recording opened up new dimensions in Janáček performance, and its success launched Charles Mackerras’s complete cycle of the operas that was to follow.

Having applied his superb musicological skills to produce a definitive score of Kátya Kabanová from the composer’s near-illegible manuscript and multiple drafts, Mackerras then conducted this most moving of operas with consummate artistry.

Fabulous, surging Vienna Philharmonic playing, Elisabeth Söderström’s poignant performance in the title role, and matchless Decca sound all combined to produce one of the truly classic opera recordings.

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