These are two epic works from the Czech musical tradition and when one listens to them anew they never fail to thrill with their sheer virtuosity and fantastic invention. Nott is up against serious competition here which practically includes all the Czech masters (Talich, Sejna, Jílek, Bělohlávek, etc) and Mackerras who has made a particular name for himself in Janáček's strange but utterly captivating music.
However Nott truly gets to the heart of the matter immediately and his interpretations are quite excellent on almost all counts. The opening bars of the Sinfonietta sound as naked as nature intended them to be and throughout the work the music moves along with boldness and intensity helped by those fabled Bamberg strings.
"Taras Bulba" also comes across quite marvelously with the SACD sound lending itself perfectly to the intensity that permeates this great work. "The Prophecy and Death" of Taras Bulba is particularly captivating in its all encompassing glory. The suite from "The Cunning Little Vixen", arranged by Frantiek Jílek, is also expertly played and is a delightful conclusion to this fine disc. As always with Tudor notes and presentation are of the highest quality.
Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech