All products and recordings are chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more.

Janáček: Kátya Kabanová

Charles Mackerras conducts groundbreaking Janáček

Kata Kabanova

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.

Find out more about Janáček