Live recordings

Leoš Janáček

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Jiří Kout

live on 7th September 2003, Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum

Leoš Janáček: Sinfonietta

The Czech composer Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) freed himself from the Romanticist tradition in 1890s and created a unique modern style. He avidly collected, arranged and published folk songs, however, his musical expression was not based on folklore. For him the truth of life dwelled in human speech. The speech melodies became the essence of his operas and their poetics is to be found in the string quartets, vocal music, piano cycles and other works.

Sinfonietta (1926) is the paramount orchestral work by Janáček. The best known motif of this five-movement piece is the opening ceremonial fanfare of thirteen brass instruments and timpani, which forms the first movement and accompanied by the full orchestra returns at the end.

Jiří Kout launched his musical career at the Tyl Theatre in Pilsen. He was dismissed from the theatre after publicly expressing his opposition to the military intervention of Czechoslovakia in 1968. After several years he was allowed to work in the National Theatre. After a successful guest appearance in Düsseldorf he decided to stay abroad. During his long carrier he has worked in the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, he has been Music Director of the Saarbrücken Opera House, he has collaborated with Deutche Oper in Berlin, has worked as General Music Director of the Leipzig Opera House. Apart from Czech music, especially Janáček, he specialises in the operatic works of Richard Strauss and Wagner for which he is a sought-after conductor in leading opera houses in Europe and overseas. Kout is also a superb symphonic conductor appearing with the leading orchestras all over the world. Since 1998 he has been the Chief Conductor of the St Gallen Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland.

play video sampleplay video sample (Leoš Janáček: Sinfonietta)

director: Adam Rezek
time: 23 min.