ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
LEOS JANACEK - SINFONIETTA


LEOS JANACEK - SINFONIETTA - KAREL ANCERL (Conductor) - CZECH PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - SUPRAPHON 3684

Life is strange sometimes. Janacek's reputation these days pretty well lies on his Sinfonietta, or at least this is the work chosen to introduce people to this composer, when it's creation happened by chance more than anything else.

He was asked one day to compose a fanfare for brass instruments to be performed during a national sporting event. He obliged by writing the first section and it was so well received that he later decided to extend the work into a suite for full orchestra titled "Sinfonietta", and it became his most popular composition.

Most recordings that I've heard over-emphasize the brass sections to the detriment of the whole work. Only Karel Ancerl reaches in and brings out the finer details within to really present the work as an orchestral suite. Only in this recording is the orchestra well balanced against the massive brass in the last movement.

This performance combines accuracy, expression, varied colors and power. It is not simply brass-heavy like most. A good recording for 1961.

Jean-Yves Duperron