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Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928)
Taras Bulba – Rhapsody (1918)
Lachian Dances (1889-90)
Moravian Dances (1891)

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra • Antoni Wit

About the Music

Leoš Janáček was an authority on his native folk-music, and the Lachian and Moravian Dances preserve and celebrate culture and traditions which were vanishing even in his own lifetime. Lachian Dances were originally to have been Valachian, but were transposed geographically by the composer’s own alteration of the title. The first, Starodávný, opens with a melody derived from the tragic song “Matthew has been killed”, with which the following melodies provide contrast. The nature of the dances that follow is apparent from their titles. The five Moravian Dances, opening with a Kožich, a fur-coat dance, are characteristic in melodic contour and rhythm of the music of East Moravia.

Based on Gogol’s historical novel, Janáček’s inspired orchestral rhapsody on Taras Bulba depicts three moving and dramatic episodes in the violent life of the Cossack leader. In the first the son of Taras Bulba, Andrij, is put to death by his father for the disloyalty that his love has brought about. The Cossacks had laid siege to the town of Dubno, where Andrij’s beloved is among those besieged. The young man enters the town by a secret passage and joins with the Poles in the subsequent battle with his own people. The second episode shows the death of his second son Ostap, tortured and put to death by the victorious Poles, an event witnessed by the disguised Taras Bulba, mingling with the crowd. The third movement, with its organ part, depicts the prophecy and death of Taras Bulba himself, nailed to a tree and condemned to be burned to death. As he dies, he foretells the future liberation of the Cossacks.

This release follows Antoni Wit’s acclaimed Warsaw recording of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass and Sinfonietta (8.572639).

About the Performers

Antoni Wit, of the most highly regarded Polish conductors, studied conducting with Henryk Czyz and composition with Krzysztof Pederecki at the Academy of Music in Kraków, subsequently continuing his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In 2002 he became managing and artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.
Formed in 1901, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra is recognised as the National Orchestra of Poland. The orchestra has toured widely abroad (Europe, both Americas, Japan), in addition to its busy schedule at home in symphony concerts, chamber concerts, educational work and other activities. Their recordings have won many prestigious awards, including six GRAMMY® nominations.

Also Available

JANÁČEK Glagolitic Mass, Sinfonietta
Christiane Libor • Ewa Marciniec • Timothy Bentch • Wojciech Gierlach
Jaroslaw Malanowicz • Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir
Antoni Wit

8.572639 (CD) / NBD0026 (Blu-ray Audio)

‘spanning a rich tonal spectrum all too often missing in performances of the Glagolitic Mass – Classic FM

‘Antoni Wit excels as a Janáček 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.’ – Sunday Telegraph

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