OTAKAR OSTRČIL (1879-1935): Jack’s Kingdom, Op. 25 (Studio recording, Jan. 1954), Calvary, Op. 24 (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Václav Neumann. Studio recording, Nov. 1957.)

Catalogue Number: 09T006

Label: Supraphon

Reference: SU 4224-2

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: The last (of five) and the most performed of the composer’s operas, this is based on a Tolstoy fairy-tale about a simple-minded peasant whom the Devil tries to tempt in order to sow envy in a small village. Neither he nor Jack’s avaricious brothers can win the day thanks to Jack’s innate generosity and goodness and, when the opera was premiered in Brno and Prague in 1934 it was received as a manifesto against fascism. The dramatic passages are expressive and make use of complex polyphony and bitonality while the lyrical parts are in a simple folk style in the tradition of Smetana. 2 CDs. Mono. Czech- English libretto. Ivo Židek (tenor), Jaroslava Vymazalová (soprano), Přemysl Koči (bass-baritone), Prague Radio Chorus, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Václav Jiráček.

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