Janacek: Jenufa (In German) - Eipperle, Klose, Katona, Otto; R. Kraus. Köln, 1949
Listen to a Sample:
Although I love Jenufa, I had been putting off listening to this recording for a number of weeks, mostly due to the fact that no one in the cast jumped out at me. Once again, I have learned that you can’t judge a book by its cover as this is a remarkable performance with some stellar artists, with the stand-out being Margarete Klose as Kostelnicka. Klose sings the role with remarkable warmth removing the hard edges that can make this character seem like a crazed monster. Trude Eipperle’s lush soprano is an excellent fit as Jenufa, bringing a youthful athleticism to the part. As Laca, Wilhelm Otto, like Klose, downplays the sensational aspects of the character in exchange for finding a more well-rounded view of their predicament. Richard Krauss brings a romantic sweeping touch to Janacek that I have never heard, unabashedly stretching phrases to bring out the lyricism of his melodies. The sound is fair to good. The final scene between Jenufa and Laca is missing so I have included the material from another performance, also sung in German, featuring Hildegard Hillebrecht and Jean Cox.