Leoš Janáček: From the House of the Dead

Leoš Janáček From the House of the Dead
From the House of the Dead

Leoš Janáček: From the House of the Dead

Year of composition:
1927-1928
Subtitle:
Opera in 3 acts
Version:
historical version (contains original ending)
Composer:
Leoš Janáček
Arranger:
Bretislav Bakala (1930); Osvald Chlubna (1930)
Original language:
Czech
Translator:
Max Brod; Antonio Gronen-Kubizki (01.01.1966); Denis Arundell
Librettist:
Leoš Janáček
Writer of pre-existing text:
Fjodor Michailowitsch Dostojewski
Piano reduction:
Bretislav Bakala
Roles:
Petrowitsch, baritone Alej, tenor Luka, tenor Der Platzkommandant, baritone Skuratoff, tenor Tschekunoff, baritone Schischkoff, bass-baritone a number of smaller parts and silent roles
Choir:
TB
Instrumentation:
4 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(5), hp, cel, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute (+picc)
3rd flute (+picc)
4th flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
cor anglais
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb (+cl(Eb))
3rd clarinet in Bb (+cl(Eb)
bass cl)
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
3rd bassoon (+cbsn)
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in F
2nd trumpet in F
3rd trumpet in F
bass trumpet (+tenor tuba)
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
tuba
timpani
percussion(4)
bells
chains
harp
celesta
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
Scenery:
3
Remarks:
Original ending arranged by Rafael Kubelik according to Leoš Janácek.
Duration:
85’
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Audiosamples

From the House of the Dead
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Read an interview with Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau on Janáček's Aus einem Totenhaus.


Leoš Janáček based his final opera on his own libretto after Dostojevsky’s Memoirs from the House of the Dead. He wrote, drafted and revised the opera in full score during 1927 - 1928. He then had it copied out by two of his long-established copyists (Václav Sedláček and Jaroslav Kulhánek), who shared the work between them. Janáček supervised the copying and the correction of their score, making many changes and additions which resulted in new pages having to be inserted. Then he began a final check through the score, adding extra doublings, dynamics and other details in his own hand. He completed Acts 1 and 2 in this way, but died before he had checked Act 3. In other words, except for a final check of Act 3 and any last-minute alterations Janáček might have made at rehearsals, From the House of the Dead is no less finished than any other Janáček opera.

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From the House of the Dead

Leoš Janáček: From the House of the Dead

score
, 85’
Instr.: 4 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(5), hp, cel, str

World première

Location:
Brno
Date:
12.04.1930
Orchestra:
Orchestra of the National Theatre of Brno
Conductor:
Bakala Bretislav

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