Disappointingly for pieces written in Janácek’s latter years, this recording is far too reminiscent of his early Romantic leanings. ‘The Wandering Little Soul’ wonderfully exhibits all his grandiose symphonic colour and non-diatonic folk elements, but James Ehnes lacks his usual sparkle and drive in the performance. Mandozzi does better with ‘The Fiddler’s Child’ and ‘Taras Bulba’ is performed excellently by the Bergen. ‘The Danube’ is an appealing listen, but ‘Jealousy’ seems out of place with the rest and Blanik doesn’t offer enough contrast. Janácek needs more light and dark, more variation of timbre to fully emphasise his complex musical nuances.
3 stars out of 5