4 out of 5
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English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera.
They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original.
Two masterpieces of the late flowering genius of the Czech composer Leos Janacek are the subject of this double volume.
Jenufa was the opera which finally brought him international recognition, and, with it.
fame at home; it was the fruit of over 25 years of work.
It has been called a tragedy with a happy ending, and its moving story seems to embody the spirit of Moravian village life.
Katya on the other hand, was composed in an uninterrupted flow during 1920: while it is based on Ostrovky's The Storm, it contains wonderful love music inspired by the old composer's love for a much younger woman.
The scores are discussed by Arnold Whittall in a comparative essay, and the background and 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.