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CHAN 3101
(multiple CD Set)
Opera - The Cunning Little Vixen

Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2003

Originally recorded in 2002

Artists:

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden


Simon Rattle


Nicholas Folwell

baritone - Harašta

Thomas Allen

bass - Forester

Gwynne Howell

bass - Priest/Badger

Diana Montague

mezzo-soprano - Fox

Elizabeth Bainbridge

mezzo-soprano - Innkeeper's Wife

Gillian Knight

soprano - Forester's Wife/Owl

Lillian Watson

soprano - Vixen Sharp-Ears

Robert Tear

tenor - Mosquito/Schoolmaster

John Dobson

tenor - Pásek

Royal Opera Chorus



Venue:

No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London



Producer:

David R. Murray



Engineer:

Mark Vigars



Record Label
Opera In English

Genre:

Vocal & Song


Opera in English

Total Time - 96:06
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Opera - The Cunning Little Vixen

 

LEOS JANACEK

(1854-1928)
Select Complete Single Disc for
   
 

The Cunning Little Vixen

96:47  
  The Adventures of Fox Sharp-Ears  
  Opera in three acts  
  Libretto by Leoš Janácek, English translation by Yveta Synek Graff and Robert T. Jones  
   
  Act I  
1 Prelude 3:15
2 'Going to be a storm soon' 1:32
  Forester  
3 'Come on, old lady, and let's get the show started' 1:50
  Cricket, Caterpillar, Mosquito, Frog  
4 'Mummy! Mummy! What is that?' 1:40
  Vixen Cub, Forester  
5 Pantomime 3:23
6 Interlude 2:00
7 'Look at how big she's grown!' 1:24
  Forester, Forester's Wife, Vixen, Dog  
8 'I'm just the same too' 1:11
  Vixen  
9 'Look what we've got down 'ere' 1:01
  Pepík, Frantík, Vixen, Forester's Wife, Forester  
10 Interlude (beginning) ('Ou, ou!') 2:14
  Vixen  
11 Interlude (conclusion) 2:12
12 'You should take a lesson from me!' 0:58
  Dog, Rooster, Hens, Chief Hen  
13 'Sisters! Comrades!' 2:09
  Vixen, Hens, Rooster  
14 'Come on then, don't be frightened' 1:39
  Chief Hen, Forester's Wife, Vixen, Forester  
   
  Act II  
15 Prelude 0:58
16 'Ah!' - 'Who's that out there screaming?' 1:52
  Vixen, Badger, Forest creatures  
17 Interlude 1:19
18 'In my view parish things have got to be better!' 0:43
  Priest, Forester  
19 'Once long since, long ago' 3:13
  Forester, Schoolmaster, Priest, Pásek  
20 'Home now?' 1:23
  Forester, Pásek  
21 Interlude 1:00
22 'Something is wrong with my equilibrium' 1:49
23 'Staccato! Flageoletti!' 1:26
  Schoolmaster  
24 'So remember to be a good man!' 2:09
  Priest  
25 'Memnestho aner agathos einai' 1:11
  Priest, Forester, Schoolmaster  
26 Interlude 1:06
27 'O my God! He's so handsome!' 1:39
  Vixen, Fox  
28 'One dark night' 3:15
  Vixen  
29 'Fox Goldenstripe' 1:18
  Fox, Vixen  
30 'Can it be that I am lovely?' 3:57
31 'Let me go! I am afraid of you!' 3:54
  Vixen, Fox  
32 'If you had only seen what I saw just now' 0:53
  Owl, Jay, Vixen, Fox  
33 'That's how it is!' 2:30
  Fox, Vixen, Woodpecker, Forest creatures  
   
  Act III  
34 Prelude 2:02
35 'In the month of May' 1:39
  Harašta  
36 'Hey there, Harašta, how's it going?' 3:50
  Forester, Harašta  
37 'Little foxes running fast' 1:52
  Fox Cubs, Vixen, Fox  
38 'How many children do we have?' 2:59
  Fox, Vixen, Harašta  
39 'Put it down fast! Harašta, Harašta!' 3:44
  Harašta, Vixen  
40 Interlude 2:29
41 'Where is old man Pásek?' 2:18
42 'Well I'm damned!' 4:08
  Forester, Innkeeper's Wife, Schoolmaster  
43 Interlude 1:04
44 'Spring is here at last' 3:01
45 'When evening arrives, I welcome the rays' 2:44
46 'Hey! But I can't see the Vixen there!' 0:55
  Forester  
47 'Tha-that wasn't me' 1:18
  Frog  
   
 Thomas Allen bass - Forester
 Robert Tear tenor - Mosquito/Schoolmaster
 Gillian Knight soprano - Forester's Wife/Owl
 Lillian Watson soprano - Vixen Sharp-Ears
 Gwynne Howell bass - Priest/Badger
 John Dobson tenor - Pásek
 Nicholas Folwell baritone - Harašta
 Diana Montague mezzo-soprano - Fox
 Elizabeth Bainbridge mezzo-soprano - Innkeeper's Wife
 Simon Rattle
  June 1990  


Leos Janacek wrote in a letter, ‘I have begun writing The Cunning Little Vixen. A merry thing with a sad end: and I am taking up a place at that sad end myself’.

There is no doubt that in many ways the opera is a ‘merry thing’. It is by far his sunniest stage work and its inbuilt anthropomorphic joke of animals behaving like humans leads to many moments of pure comedy. On a first hearing, the ‘sad end’ might be taken to be the death of the Vixen. However, this incident in the opera’s second last scene, is treated with considerable musical restraint. Instead we must look elsewhere for the ‘sad end’. The clue lies in Janacek’s suggestive self-identification with the ending of his opera, and with the sadness of ageing and old age, for Janacek was approaching seventy when he completed the work. The opera is imbued with a sende of time passing and of the cyclical nature of life, which is movingly achieved in the opera’s final moments by a dream sequence, which returns to the location and animals of the opening scene. The ending, with a vision of the Vixen’s daughter, the spitting image of her mother, enables us to view the Vixen’s death as a contribution to a larger, infinitely continuing life-cycle.

In many ways regarded as Janacek’s most accessible opera, The Cunning Little Vixen is not a complacent work. The dramatic modes with which the composer experiments – the unique blend of dance and song, the strange mixing of animal and human worlds, the cinematic succession of tiny scenes – were advanced for their time and the opera had to wait many decades to win over audiences and critics.

'…there is much to be enjoyed in the fine performances here, and it is good to hear the work in our own tongue.'
International Record Review

This re-release is the finest set yet in Chandos Opera in English series. A marvellous ensemble of singing actors, orchestra, and chorus are led by a conductor whose understanding of the score is second only to Mackerras.
American Record Guide

…there is much to be enjoyed in the fine performances here, and it is good to hear the work in our own tongue.
International Record Review

Rattles warmly expressive conducting demonstrates throughout the special love he has for this score, with the Covent Garden responding brilliantly.
Gramophone

It takes a great deal to make a familiar work sound new but with his deep understanding of the crucial role that motivic transformation plays in creating the scores magic and the spring he brings to Janáceks rhythms, Rattle has produced by far the freshest account of the opera available.
BBC Music Magazine

'This re-release is the finest set yet in Chandos' Opera in English series. A marvellous ensemble of singing actors, orchestra, and chorus are led by a conductor whose understanding of the score is second only to Mackerras.'
American Record Guide

'Rattle's warmly expressive conducting demonstrates throughout the special love he has for this score, with the Covent Garden responding brilliantly.'
Gramophone

'It takes a great deal to make a familiar work sound new but with his deep understanding of the crucial role that motivic transformation plays in creating the score's magic and the spring he brings to Janácek's rhythms, Rattle has produced by far the freshest account of the opera available.'
BBC Music Magazine



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