Janacek: Jenufa (In English) - Fine, Shuard, Cochran, Dempsey, Begg, Van Allen; Mackerras. London, 1974
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Janacek never intended his best-known opera to be known as Jenufa. That title was coined by German houses who were an early proponent of the piece. Janacek's title was Jeji Pastorkinya or "Her Stepdaughter"; the "her" referring to Kostelnicka. It is clear where Janacek thought the focus of this opera should lie and hearing a performances like this with the incomparable Amy Shuard in the "title role" of Kostelnicka, you can understand why. Shuard manages to come across less as a stern dowager and more a fragile woman whose obsession with societal norms coupled with her protectiveness of Jenufa drive her to unthinkable acts. Wendy Fine is a fine Jenufa (I couldn't help it.) Her voice is youthful yet opulent and she shows that despite Jenufa's age and her dalliances, she is still an intelligent and headstrong young woman. William Cochran is an excellent Laca. The sound is good.