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Orchestral Suites from the Operas, Vol. 3 Naxos

Composer: Leos Janacek

Arranger: Peter Breiner

Conductor: Peter Breiner

Orchestra: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

With this disc Naxos completes its acclaimed recordings of Peter
Breiner's powerful and evocative orchestral suites from
Janácek's operas. In very different ways, The Cunning Little Vixen
and From the House of the Dead both reflect on love and loneliness,
life and death, good, evil and the human condition, with some of the
composer's most effective music. Warmly welcomed as 'refreshingly new',
Vol. 1: Jenufa, The Excursions of Mr Broucek and Vol. 2: Kát'a
Kabanová and The Makropulos Affair are also available.

Orchestral Suites from the Operas, Vol.
3 Review

The suite usually performed from Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen,
arranged by Talich in the 1930s, is a 17-minute diptych using material from Act
1 only (ie up to the point of the Vixen's bloody escape from the
Forester's yard) and is based on a reorchestration Talich commissioned that
was easier to play. Breiner's returns to the original and runs to nearly
40 minutes. Breiner's first two movements follow the same basic trajectory
as Talich's but the suite then takes off with the Vixen's courtship and
eventual marriage to the Fox over the next two spans. The fifth movement deals
with the Vixen's desperate hunt to feed her cubs and eventual death at the
hand of the poacher but the brief finale (“Vixen is Running”) lights up the
orchestra with its paean to nature.

Hope of a different kind

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