Nursery Rhymes, JW V/17

Noel Trotted off to Hell

  • Recorded: 6th September 2022
  • Record Place: The Cultural Centre VZLET
  • First Release: 2023
  • (P) 2023 SUPRAPHON a.s.
  • Genre: Orchestral


  • music by: Leoš Janáček
  • original lyrics by: Anonymous
  • tenor: Bronislav Palowski
  • tenor: Martin Slavík
  • flute: Barbora Haasová
  • flute: Petra Hoďánková
  • okarina: Barbora Haasová
  • clarinet: David Šimeček
  • clarinet: Jiří Javůrek
  • bassoon: Ondřej Šindelář
  • bassoon: Ondřej Svitavský
  • double bass: Petr Ries
  • tabouret: Radek Doležal
  • piano: Matouš Zukal
  • chorus master: Lukáš Vasilek
  • musical group: Prague Philharmonic Choir


Prague Philharmonic Choir, Lukáš Vasilek

Stravinsky, Janáček, Bartók: Village Stories

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Catalogue Number: SU 4333-2
Published: 27th October 2023
Genre: Orchestral
Format: 1 CD
This album has received following awards:
  • Choc de Classica, Classica magazine (2024)
  • Joker Absolu, Crescendo Magazine (2023)
Kateřina Kněžíková – soprano, Jana Hrochová – mezzo-soprano, Boris Stepanov – tenor, Jiří Brückler – baritone, Kirill Gerstein, Zoltán Fejérvári, Katia Skanavi, Alexandra Stychkina – piano, Amadinda Percussion Group, Dakoda Trio, Zemlinsky Quartet, Belfiato Quintet, Matouš Zukal – piano, etc., Prague Philharmonic Choir, conductor Lukáš Vasilek

Leoš Janáček and the generation younger Béla Bartók and Igor Stravinsky were major 20th-century composers markedly influenced by folk music, bringing it to bear in their own creations. Janáček and Bartók also keenly devoted to folklore as theoreticians and collected folk songs around the villages. Stravinsky, for his part, was mesmerised by folk rituals. A case in point is Les noces, which in four choreographed scenes depicts Russian wedding customs. Following significant revisions of the instrumentation, the fourth, definitive, version of the piece received its world premiere in 1923 in Paris, as performed by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, to Bronislava Nijinska’s choreography. Janáček conceived his Nursery Rhymes at the age of 71, shortly after completing the opera The Makropulous Case. He too made changes to the instrumentation before arriving at a satisfactory form. The second version of the set bears witness to Janáček’s being enthralled by Stravinsky’s music. The Three Village Scenes for female voices and chamber orchestra feature arrangements of folk tunes Bartók collected in the Zvolen district in today´s Slovakia. The set is evidently influenced by Stravinsky’s style as well. The three challenging works have been undertaken by Lukáš Vasilek conducting the outstanding Prague Philharmonic Choir, which on numerous occasions have displayed its exceptional qualities and a great sense for performing music inspired by folk art. The album links up to the highly acclaimed recording of Bohuslav Martinů’s cantatas (Gramophone Editor’s Choice, nomination for the BBC Music Magazine Award).

The rediscovered magic of folk songs and traditional rituals in the music of three 20th–century masters


“Tout au long de ce programme, le Prague Philharmonic Choir est superlatif tant dans son homogénéité, sa projection que dans ses multiples couleurs : impactant et fruité dans Stravinsky et Bartók, mais poétique et émouvant dans Janáček. La prise de son est magistrale et nous plonge dans la salle d'enregistrement au plus près des artistes. Une immense référence !”
Crescendo, November 2023

“This is a scintillating collection… Lukáš Vasilek’s focus is to showcase the not inconsiderable virtuosity of the Prague Philharmonic Choir, with several soloists in all three works drawn from its ranks… The Prague Philharmonic Choir are beautifully supported by their ad hoc chamber orchestra and a match for their Gramophone Award-winning rivals…”
Gramophone, February 2024

“Perle du disque pourtant, les enfantines que sont Říkadla, où les Pragois savourent les idiomes de ces vignettes dont les notes sont totalement asservies aux mots. Bois verts, piano impertinent, un ténor émerveillé pour les herbes de printemps avec le babil de la flûte, dix-neuf instantanés de pure poésie qui, je le crois, ont trouvé ici leur version de référence.”
Artalinna, January 2024

“Avec une constante plénitude sonore – sans parler des voix solistes : faciles, exactes, charnues –, une cohérence et des couleurs qui ont fait sa réputation, l’illustre formation pragoise fondée en 1935 par Jan Kühn propose des lectures à la respiration fluide et à la prosodie naturelle. Lukáš Vasilek, qui en a pris la direction depuis 2007, cultive une animation vibrante en s’entourant de solistes instrumentaux tout aussi motivés, parmi lesquels on compte les pianistes Kirill Gerstein et Katia Skanavi, les percussionnistes d’Amadinda ou le Quatuor Zemlinsky, pour ne citer qu’eux.”
Classica, May 2024

“The perfoóóórmances are uniformly excellent and the audio production first class. Not to be missed.”
The Whole Note, March 2024

“All are accorded fine performances from Maestro Vasilek and the Prague Philharmonic Choir… These Rikadla have charm, rhythmic energy and ethnic flair to burn, and the quick Bartok set is the icing atop this zesty, folk-inspired confection. Supraphon clinches the deal with good notes, texts, and translations. Every minute of this was a pleasure.”
American Record Guide, April 2024

“Janáček’s Ríkadla is a much more approachable piece of music than Les noces, and once again here the performance is outstanding… One could hardly imagine a finer performance than here, and the Czech singers bring an undeniable authority to this music… As with the Stravinsky and the Janáček, the recording quality of the Bartók is also outstanding… This is an outstanding recording that surely now lays down the benchmark for all three of these important works. ”
Fanfare, May 2024

Igor Stravinsky
The Wedding (Les Noces)
1. At the Bride's House (The Tresses) (La Tresse) 05:33
2. At the Bridegroom's House (Chez la marié) 06:07
3. The Bride's Departure (Le Départ de la mariée) 03:18
4. The Wedding Feast (Le Repas de noces) 10:45
Leoš Janáček
Nursery Rhymes, JW V/17
5. Introduction 00:38
6. Turnip’s Getting Married 01:16
7. Spring Grass Looks So Fresh and Pleasant 01:20
8. A Black Mole´s Crawling by a Hedge 01:10
9. Noel Trotted off to Hell 00:34
10. Shabby Tattered Pair of Tights 00:26
11. Frankie Diddle Played the Fiddle 00:59
12. Our Dog 00:39
13. Hearken, Hearken to My Words! 00:56
14. Old Hag Did Her Spells and Magic 00:37
15. Ho, Ho, Al’ Cows Go 01:03
16. Mah Guidwillie Bonny Lass 00:40
17. Old Crone Crawls into the Brush 00:22
18. Pears Are Gathered by a White Goat 00:41
19. No Good Kraut, up the Spout 00:28
20. Goat is Lying in the Hay 00:46
21. Rodney Podney Drums So Hard 00:43
22. Frankie Lad 00:21
23. A Black Bear’s Bobbing on a Big Bough 01:40
Béla Bartók
Three Village Scenes, BB 87b
24. Wedding 04:06
25. Lullaby 05:03
26. Lad’s Dance 03:01

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