Pavol Breslik headlines on a new recording of Janáček’s Diary of One Who Disappeared; a song cycle about a young man who runs off with a gyosy girl. The piece is given in its original arrangement which, besides tenor and piano, features a mezzo in several of the songs and a brief appearance by a three member female chorus. No doubt this is one reason it’s performed less often than it might be. Breslik is pretty much ideal for this music. Obviosly he’s completely at home in Czech and he sings with clear articulation and has a rather beautiful instrument. He’s well supported by Robert Pechanec on piano plus mezzo Ester Pavlu; who has quite a bright sound for a mezzo but works well enough with Breslik. Dominika Hanko, Zuzanka Marczelová and Mária Kovács make up the chorus.
The disk is rounded out by Six Folk Songs Eva Gabel Sang and Songs from Detva, Brigand Ballads. These are quite straightforward strophic songs that aren’t mucked about with much by the composer and make for pleasant, easy listening. The recordings were made in the 4tune Studio in Vienna and are admirably clear. The booklet has an essay and bios in German and English but the texts are given only in German and the original Czech . It’s a worthwhile modern recording of a work that doesn’t feature that often in the catalogue.