Leos Janacek’s great oratorio “The Eternal Gospel”, for soprano, tenor, mixed chorus, and orchestra, is based on a medieval legend in which an angel announces the coming of the Kingdom of Love on Earth to a Cistercian monk, Joachim of Flora. Janacek set the text as a dramatic scene with two characters. The chorus unfolds as a contrasting foil to the two main figures until the final climax, when the people sing “Alleluia” and receive the message of the brotherhood of all creation.
The Eternal Gospel occupies a special place in Janacek’s oeuvre. The dream-like atmosphere and emotional force of this twenty-minute cantata cast an unusually powerful spell. It originated during a time of turmoil: Janacek wrote it in spring 1914 on the eve of the First World War, and the première took place in Prague in February 1917. In 1924 Janacek revised the cantata yet again for a festive performance on the occasion of his seventieth birthday.
The vocal score has been prepared by Leos Faltus , one of the two editors of the volume for the Janacek Complete Edition (series B/volume 4)