Naše píseň [1] [Our song (1)]

for mixed chorus and orchestra after a poem by Svatopluk Čech 

Sivý sokol zaletěl [A grey falcon flew away] 

for mixed chorus and orchestra to folksong text from Sušil's collection)

  • first performance 1890? Brno
  • unpublished



Komáři se ženili [The mosquitoes got married]

folksong arrangement for mixed voices and orchestra

  • first performance 1892 Brno
  • unpublished separately, published as part of Rákos Rákoczy JW I/2), Dilia, Prague 1978



Zelené sem sela [I have sown green] 

folksong arrangement for mixed chorus and orchestra

text and tune from the collection Bartoš-Janáček Bouquet of Folksong

  • first performance 1892 Brno
  • unpublished 


1892, 1897?

Keď jsme šli na hody [As we went to the feast]

folksong arrangement for mixed chorus and orchestra

text and tune from National Dances in Moravia JW VIII/10

  • first performance 1998
  • unpublished 



Hospodine! [Lord, have mercy!] 

first version for soloists, mixed double chorus, brass, harp and organ, second version for soloists, mixed chorus, brass, harp and organ

  • first performance 1896 Brno
  • first edition, first version, Editio Supraphon, Prague 1977, second version unpublished




cantata for soloists, mixed chorus and orchestra after a poem by Jaroslav Vrchlický

  • first performance 1898 Brno (only Epilogue), 1912 Brno (complete composition)

  • first edition Hudební matice Umělecké Besedy, Prague 1938 (piano-vocal score), Czech Music Foundation, Prague 1957 (full score), Collected critical publication of the works of Leoš Janáček, hereafter SKV, B/1, Editio Bärenreiter Prague, 2000 (full score, ed. L. Faltus, M. Kučerová, M. Štědroň)



rev. 1901, 1906

Janáček wrote the cantata Amarus in 1897, in-between composing the first and second acts of Jenůfa. He based the text on a poem by Jaroslav Vrchlický about a boy who never knew his mother and grew up in a monastery - which was a theme close to Janáček's heart, given the fact that he spent his childhood at the Staré Brno monastery. Amarus, as the boy in the monastery was called, had to pour oil into the lamps of eternal light. One night an angel appears to him and tells him that he will die on the night he forgets to pour the oil. One spring day Amarus mournfully watches a girl in love with a boy, meditates over his lonely life and forgets about the lamp. In the morning his body is discovered. The cantata for soloists, mixed chorus and orchestra had its first complete premiere in 1912, firstly in Brno's Besední dům and shortly afterwards in the Rudolfinum in Prague.

Na Soláni čarták [The čarták on Soláň]

cantata for tenor, male chorus and orchestra after the poem by Maxmilián Kurt

  • first version 1911, second version 1920

  • first performance of first version 1912 Prostějov, first performance of second version 1924 Brno

  • first edition of the first version SKV B/3, Supraphon, Prague 1981 (full score, ed. J. Hanuš, M. Štědroň), first edition of second version, Czech Music Foundation, Prague 1958 (full score), SKV B/3, Supraphon, Prague 1981 (full score, editors J. Hanuš, M. Štědroň)


Janáček's cantata The čarták on Soláň from 1911 only last seven minutes (Soláň is a mountain in the Valachian Beskydy at the top of which stood a čarták - an inn which had originally been a guard's house). Maxmilián Kurt's text has the flavour of folk poetry with erotic elements. For tenor, male chorus and orchestra. The premiere was held in 1912 in Prostějov.   

Věčné evangelium [The eternal gospel]

legend for soloists, mixed chorus and orchestra after the poem by Jaroslav Vrchlický

  • first performance 1917 Prague
  • first edition Czech Music Foundation, Prague 1958 (full score), SKV H/4 Editio Supraphon Prague, 1997 (full score, ed. L. Faltus and M. Štědroň)



As with Amarus, Janáček's spiritual cantata The Eternal Gospel from 1914 was based on a poem by Jaroslav Vrchlický, who was the same generation as Janáček and similar in terms of intellectual outlook. The versified legend entitled The Eternal Gospel was from the collection Frescoes and Tapestries from 1891 and was inspired by the Medieval monk, Joachim of Fiore (1132-1202), who believed that history would be crowned by the Age of the Holy Spirit, with humanity's unconditional love for all creation. It is symbolic that Janáček composed this message shortly after the outbreak of World War I. It is divided into four parts with an emphasis on the tenor part and the chorus. The premiere took place on 5 February 1917, performed by the Prague chorus association Hlahol and the orchestra of the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Jaroslav Křička.

Mša glagolskaja [Glagolitic mass]

for soloists, mixed chorus, organ and orchestra after Old Church Slavonic text

  • first performance 5. 12. 1927 Brno
  • first edition Universal Edition, Vienna 1928 (piano-vocal score), Universal Edition, Vienna 1929 (full score), SKV B 5/I Editio Bärenreiter, Prague 2011 (full score, eds. L. Faltus, J. Zahrádka).


1926, rev. 1927

The premiere of Janáček's famous spiritual composition, the Glagolitic Mass, took place in December 1927 in the auditorium of the Stadion in Brno. The composer began work on it in 1920, but he soon stopped and didn't return to it until 1926. The inspiration came from a meeting with the archbishop of Olomouc, Leopold Prečan, at the unveiling of a memorial plaque to Janáček at his family home in Hukvaldy. While staying at Luhačovice in August 1926, Janáček spent three weeks composing the main part of the mass to Old Church Slavonic text. Janáček's new work, which was originally called Missa glagolskaja, was first performed at the Stadion on 5 December 1927 by the 140-strong chorus of the Brno Beseda and the orchestra of Brno's National Theatre, conducted by Jaroslav Kvapil. Janáček dedicated the composition in 1928 to Archbishop Leopold Prečan, who had inspired the composition, though he and the leading representatives of the Catholic Church failed to attend, citing illness as the reason. The concert, which was also broadcast on the radio, was a great success, as can be seen from the critics of the time, who in particular highlighted the distinctive use of the mass text, which Janáček, "tackled in his own way: simply without tradition, or even against tradition."