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Beloved Moravia

Donald Macleod tells the tragic story of the death of Janacek's daughter Olga and the effect it had on the composer.

Donald Macleod tells the tragic story of the death of Janacek's daughter Olga, and the effect it had on the composer.

The life of Leos Janacek (1854-1928) is one of the strangest in all classical music. Virtually ignored for most of his career, in his late 60s Janacek abruptly began to compose some of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century, whilst all the time hopelessly and unrequitedly in love with a woman more than half his age, Kamila Stösslová. Yet once upon a time Janacek was best known as a composer of chamber music. This week, Donald Macleod explores the composer's life through his instrumental and small-scale compositions, revealing the little-known story of his struggle for recognition.

By the first decade of the 20th century, Janacek was nearly 50 years old and yet had barely registered as a ripple on Europe's musical scene. As he struggled to make his name, his world was to be shattered by the death of his only daughter, Olga. Donald Macleod introduces a politically-charged piano sonata, plus a defiant - and highly-unusual - capriccio for piano left hand and ensemble.

Celadenky (Three Moravian Folk Dances)
Teodoro Anzellotti, accordion

Pilky; Ej, danaj! (Three Moravian Folk Dances)
Teodoro Anzellotti, accordion

Sonata 1.X.1905
Karim Said, piano

Capriccio (Defiance)
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano
Members of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra:
Ingela Øien, flute
Gary Peterson & Jon Behncke, trumpets
Christopher Dudley & Øyvind Hage, trombones
Kjell Erik Husom, bass trombone
Hans Andreas Kjølberg, tenor tuba

Kantor Halfar
Prague Philharmonic Choir
Josef Veselka, conductor

Franta the Knacker's Son Played the Bass Fiddle; Our Dog, Our Dog; I'm Giving a Little Talk; The Old Woman was Making Magic (Rikadla)
Collegium Vocale Gent
Het Collectif
Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor.

58 minutes

Music Played

  • Leos Janáček

    3 Moravian dances - Celadenky

    Performer: Teodoro Anzellotti.
    • Winter and Winter 89.
    • Winter and Winter.
    • 18.
  • Leos Janáček

    3 Moravian dances - Pilky

    Performer: Teodoro Anzellotti.
    • Winter and Winter 89.
    • Winter and Winter.
    • 17.
  • Leos Janáček

    3 Moravian dances - Ej, danaj!

    Performer: Teodoro Anzellotti.
    • Winter and Winter 89.
    • Winter and Winter.
    • 17.
  • Leos Janáček

    Sonata 1.X.1905 In E flat minor - From the street

    Performer: Karim Said.
    • OPUS ARTE : OACD9029D.
    • OPUS ARTE.
    • 5.
  • Leos Janáček

    Capriccio - Defiance

    Performer: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. Performer: Ingela Øien. Performer: John A. Behnke. Performer: Gary Petersen.
    • CHANDOS CHSA5142.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 6.
  • Leos Janáček

    Kantor halfar

    Choir: Pražský filharmonický sbor. Conductor: Josef Veselka.
    • SUPRAPHON : su-3022 2.
    • SUPRAPHON.
    • 1.
  • Leos Janáček

    Rikadla (nonsense nursery rhymes)

    Choir: Collegium Vocale Gent. Conductor: Reinbert de Leeuw.
    • Alpha Alpha 219.
    • Alpha.
    • 19.

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