ANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904): Kate and the Devil, Op. 112.
Catalogue Number: 07K047
Reference: SU 3943-2
Description: Based on a Czech folk-tale, Kate (1899) preceded Rusalka and was likewise a great success. The story tells of an overbearing village girl who, ignored at the village dance, is taken up when she offers to dance even with the Devil. The second act, in Hell, involves the fed-up Lucifer\'s attempts to get rid of the larger-than-life Kate, which is finally accomplished with the help of the shepherd Jirka who has come down after her. The overture is a mini-tone-poem in its own right and each of the two other acts also opens with an orchestral interlude. Two dances also enliven the proceedings in which the characterization of the major characters is razor-sharp, the set pieces effective (the word-setting anticipates Janácek) and the simplicity of the melodic writing (much use of bagpipe effects) looks back to Dvorák\'s earlier comic operas. 2 CDs. Recorded 1955. Mono. Czech-English libretto. Ludmila Komancová (mezzo), Lubomír Havlák (tenor), Premysl Kocí (bass), Prague National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra; Zdenek Chalabala. Original 1957 Supraphon LP release.