Janacek: Katya Kabanova (In English) Shuard, Coates, R. Jones, Studholme; Kubelik. London, 1954


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Jenufa has always remained in the periphery of the collective operatic consciousness since its premiere, however Katya Kabanova has only enjoyed a renaissance in the last few decades.  Therefore a performance of Katya Kabanova from the 50s is of great interest to fans of the works of Leos Janacek.  This is a wonderful and fresh performance aided by the fact that the singers are singing in their native tongues and also possibly because since it was pretty unknown at the time the interpreters were not bogged down by tradition and performance practice (I think it was Solti who said tradition was the last bad performance.)   This recording is also a great representation of what could be called the golden age of Sadler's Wells.  Amy Shuard sings the title role.  Early in her career, it is remarkable how much lighter her voice was.  There is little indication that the great dramatic soprano roles awaited her.  Veteran, Edith Coates is chilling as Kabanicha.  The sound is very good and I have included the third scene from Die Walküre with Shuard and Ramón Vinay as a bonus.

Act I, sc. iii from Die Walküre wtih Amy Shuard & Ramón Vinay

OD 10468-2

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