Julius Drake’s recently released album “The Diary of One Who Disappeared and other works” is a collection of works composed by Leoš Janáček. Released on the 28 June under Hyperion Records, the album brings together Janáček’s “Říkadla ‘Nursery rhymes’”, “Moravská lidová poezie v písních ‘Moravian folk poetry in songs’” and the titular “Zápisník zmizelého ‘The diary of one who disappeared’”.
On 30 June, The Sunday Times listed the album as their album of the week and the positive reaction from critics hasn’t stopped there. In the latest issue of Gramophone magazine, Martin Cullingford has made the album his “Recording of the Month”. Performing Alongside Drake on the album are tenor Nicky Spence and mezzo-soprano Vaclava Housková. Cullingford’s first commendation towards Drake is “the tenor is brilliantly supported throughout by Julius Drake, who is ever alert to Janáček’s piano-writing – delicate and piercing by turns – and conjures up the cycle’s sound world superbly from the start: an uncanny place of beautiful strangeness, quietly miraculous nature, churning emotions and dreamlike encounters”.
From here, Cullingford goes on to say “Drake offers vividly etched playing once more (listen to his way with the cimbalom-like strums and melismas that accompany the vocal line in ‘Rosemary’), while Voice join in for a rip-roaring account of the final song, ‘Musicians’. It’s a fitting conclusion to an album that offers much to celebrate: a superb achievement by Spence and Drake, in particular, and as persuasive an introduction to Janacek’s songs as you’ll find”.
Cullingford ends the review praising the album as a whole saying “Excellent engineering and presentation from Hyperion crown an outstanding release – highly recommended”.
Read the full review in Gramophone Magazine.