This double volume contains two masterpieces of the late-flowering genius of the Czech composer Leos Janasek. Jenufa was the opera which finally brought him international recognition - and, with it, fame at home; it was the fruit of over twenty-five years of work. A tragedy with a happy ending, its moving story seems to embody the spirit of Moravian village life. Katya, on the other hand, was composed in an uninterrupted flow during the year 1920: based on Ostrovsky's The Storm, it contains wonderful love music inspired by the composer's love for a much younger woman. The scores are discussed by Arnold Whittall in a comparative essay, and the background sources are variously introduced by social and literary historians. John Tyrell comments on an important and newly discovered letter about the genesis of Katya; Sir Charles Mackerras describes his work as an interpreter and advocate of this brilliantly original and dramatic music.
Leo Janacek (1854 1928) was a Czech composer and teacher. Until 1895 he devoted himself mainly to the study of national folklore music, which greatly influence his work throughout his life. "
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