Friday, January 15, 2021

Janáček's Capriccio

Excuse the interruption, but I've just found a recording I've been looking for for nearly 50 years.

It's a particular performance of Leoš Janáček's Capriccio for piano (left hand) and wind/brass ensemble. This is the performance I first encountered the work in, way back then, and despite its spiky modernism I was captivated, much as I was by other Janáček works like his famous Sinfonietta.

But being unable to find a copy of this recording of the Capriccio for my own, I turned to other recordings of the work, and found they didn't have the particular blend and balance of instruments, and the ensemble and flow of this performance. Eventually I gave up.

Suddenly it occurred to me to check YouTube and I found it had recently gone up. It's single-channel mono (I'm pretty sure it was stereo when I heard it before) and scratchy, but it's the right performance at last. I don't expect anyone else to like this as I do, but here it is: Leonid Hambro, piano, with the Boston Brass Ensemble conducted by Eric Simon, in the Capriccio by Leoš Janáček:

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