The Excursions of Mr. Brouček, JW I/7

Act 2: Look, One Is Crouching Here!


  • Recorded: May 2021
  • Record Place: The Dvořák Hall of Rudolfinum, Prague
  • First Release: 2024
  • (P) 2024 SUPRAPHON a.s.
  • Genre: Opera

Artists

  • music by: Leoš Janáček
  • libretto by: Viktor Dyk
  • libretto by: František Serafínský Procházka
  • tenor: Jaroslav Březina
  • tenor: Aleš Briscein
  • tenor: Josef Moravec
  • soprano: Alžběta Poláčková
  • bass: Jiří Sulženko
  • baritone: Jiří Brückler
  • chorus master: Martin Buchta
  • chorus master: Pavel Vaněk
  • conductor: Jaroslav Kyzlink
  • musical group: Prague National Theatre Chorus
  • musical group: Prague National Theatre Orchestra

Album

Prague National Theatre Orchestra, Jaroslav Kyzlink

Janáček: The Excursions of Mr. Brouček

Digital services

Catalogue Number: SU 4339-2
Published: 21st June 2024
Genre: Opera
Format: 2 CD
This album has received following awards:
  • Album of the Week, Europadisc (2024)
Leoš Janáček (1854–1928) – An opera in two parts (The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Moon, The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Fifteenth Century). Libretto by Leoš Janáček, František Serafínský Procházka, Viktor Dyk and František Gellner. Recorded in line with Jiří Zahrádka’s new critical edition (Universal Edition).

Jaroslav Březina, Aleš Briscein, František Zahradníček, Alžběta Poláčková, Jiří Sulženko, Jiří Brückler, Roman Janál, Martin Šrejma, Josef Moravec, Doubravka Součková, Stanislava Jirků. Prague National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra, chorusmaster Pavel Vaněk, conductor Jaroslav Kyzlink

In April 1920, following 12 years of intricate work, Leoš Janáček’s The Excursions of Mr. Brouček premiered at the National Theatre in Prague, the one and only work of his to do so. A century later, the self-same theatre’s soloists, chorus and orchestra returned to the “Broučekiad” at the Rudolfinum in Prague. The present studio recording, after Neumann’s and Jílek’s only the third in the Supraphon catalogue, was thus in part made owing to the closure of theatres and concert halls during the recent Covid pandemic.
Janáček dedicated The Excursions of Mr. Brouček to T. G. Masaryk, the first President of the newly founded Czechoslovak Republic. Declining to celebrate the two nations’ acquired freedom and statehood by foregrounding Saint Wenceslas, Charles IV or another great figure of Czech history, the composer chose as the protagonist of his “national” opera one Mr. Brouček, a narrow-minded oaf, coward, hypocrite, liar, boor and drunkard. A man overly fond of food and beer, possessing a simplistic worldview, suspicious of everything different and unaccustomed, loathing artists and intellectuals. In The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Moon, his crassness clashes with the Moonlings’ aesthetic, highbrow affectation, while in The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Fifteenth Century his unflinching self-centeredness, servility and mendacity contrast starkly with the ideals of the uncompromising Hussite warriors, fighting for “God’s truth”. As Janáček himself put it: “Brouček embodies our pettiness; made for stage.” One hundred years down the road, this picture of the “ordinary Czech” is still befitting, worthy of exposing. The new album features Jaroslav Březina, brilliantly portraying the lead character, and other distinguished Czech singers, under the seasoned conductor Jaroslav Kyzlink.
A significant role in enhancing the recording’s quality is played by spatial feeling of the recording process itself as well as by the Dvořák Hall’s splendid acoustics and colourful sound. By releasing the album, the National Theatre in Prague commemorates the 170th anniversary of the birth of Leoš Janáček, the most globally renowned of Czech opera composers.

Janáček’s “Mr. Brouček” on a new recording – still up-to-date after one hundred years…

Reviews

“…thanks to the thrillingly immediate singing of the National Theatre Chorus (excellent throughout the opera), this performance is uniquely stirring… Kyzlink’s is the more detailed and incisive account, opening up warmly for the lyrical episodes but with a keen sense of momentum in the rest, and an unerring feeling for the work’s wit. Březina is splendid in the title role, not too hammy in this character tenor role, and the rest of the cast are wonderfully idiomatic. In the week of Janáček’s 170th birthday, this is a marvellous contribution to his music’s disco­graphy.”
Europadisc, July 2024

“This new studio version, conducted by Jaroslav Kyzlink, sounds cleaner and more muscular, and the orchestra of the Prague National Theatre understands Janáček’s style inside out. Characterful in the title role, Jaroslav Březina heads up an excellent cast, with Alžběta Poláčková sparkling as the love interest and the three young-man roles outstandingly sung by Aleš Briscein, whose tenor rises seemingly effortlessly to the moon and beyond.”
The Guardian, July 2024

“Jaroslav Kyzlink lässt das fabelhafte Orchester des Prager Nationaltheaters höchst expressiv, in artikulatorischer Akkuratesse aufspielen… Vom Klasseensemble bis in die kleinsten Rollen (Aleš Briscein, František Zahradníček, Alžběta Poláčková, Jiří Sulženko, Roman Janál, Jiří Brückler) ist besonders der höhensichere, hell timbrierte Tenor Jaroslav Březina als Matej Broucek hervorzuheben… Eine einzigartige Oper, die Konzentration erfordert und am besten mit dem Libretto in der Hand gehört werden sollte. Wer sich darauf einlässt, wird gerade mit dieser Einspielung (als Gesamtensemble­leistung und orchestral die beste und brillanteste, die ich kenne), glücklich werden. Auch tontechnisch bleibt kein Wunsch offen.”
Online Merker, July 2024

“The Czech cast revelling in the comic capers and obviously appreciating Janacek’s sometimes savage satire, the unique sound of his orchestral writing conjures the atmosphere of the lunar colony and catacombs under 15th century Prague… It is a delightful romp when it is performed with this kind of understanding and effection. It is a new recording from the Czech label Supraphon. Two CDs. It's my Record of the Week.”
BBC Radio 3, July 2024

CD 1

Leoš Janáček
The Excursions of Mr. Brouček, JW I/7
1. Introduction 03:34
2. Act 1: Can One Believe Men 05:50
3. Act 1: Love, Yes, Love´s Charming Flower 02:25
4. Act 1: Málinka! I´ve a Diamond 06:21
5. Act 1: Ha! Ha! What Monster Does Frigtten My Astonished Eye! 04:26
6. Act 1: You Have Never yet Known Love 05:13
7. Act 1: Fright Now Spreads from You Just like from Medusa! 05:48
8. Act 2: This Meloda, Yes Indeed, but on the Bombardon! 06:07
9. Act 2: Dance - You Clown, You! - You, Titan of Songs! 03:04
10. Act 2: O Sweet Creature, You! 08:17
11. Act 2: Come Here! 06:12
12. Act 2: You´re Dearer to Me 03:57
13. Act 2: Interlude 03:50
14. Act 2: With Lasting Laurels I Adorn Your Curls 04:30

CD 2

Leoš Janáček
The Excursions of Mr. Brouček, JW I/7
1. Act 1: There Were Deep Undergreound Passages 03:11
2. Act 2: Help! Help! 04:41
3. Act 1: O, You Sun of That Great Day 03:18
4. Act 1: We Must Remember Well This Newly Found Short-Cut! 06:04
5. Act 1: The Day of the Lord Begins! 02:10
6. Act 2: Introduction - If I Weren´t Sitting Here 06:35
7. Act 2: Here They Come from Church Service 05:11
8. Act 2: Alas, the Name of Czechs Has Been Dragged 09:12
9. Act 2: Hurrah, Tábor! 04:45
10. Act 2: Change of Scene - Hejsasa! Hejsasa! 04:51
11. Act 2: Look, One Is Crouching Here! 04:35
12. Act 2: He Too Went with Us 03:03
13. Act 2: Change of Scene - Ah! Ah! Ah! 03:34

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