Leoš Janáček: Aus einem Totenhaus

Leoš Janáček Aus einem Totenhaus
Aus einem Totenhaus

Leoš Janáček: Aus einem Totenhaus

Year of composition:
critical new edition and practical version (by Sir Charles Mackerras and John Tyrrell)
Leoš Janáček
John Tyrrell (2017)
Original language:
Max Brod
Writer of pre-existing text:
Fjodor Michailowitsch Dostojewski
Interpretatory hints:
Sir Charles Mackerras
Aljeja, a young tatar ... mezzo-soprano Luka ... tenor Tall Prisoner ... tenor Short Prisoner ... baritone Prison Governer ... bass Alexander Petrowic Gorjantschikow ... baritone Guard [1] ... tenor Prisoner with the eagle ... tenor Prisoner [1] ... bass
Männerchor: Sträflinge, Teufel [in der Pantomime], kranke Sträflinge ... Tenöre / Bässe Zimmerleute, Beamte, Gäste ... stumm
4 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(4), hp, cel, t.tuba(Bb), str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute
3rd flute
4th flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
3rd oboe
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
3rd clarinet in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
3rd bassoon
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
tenor tuba in Bb
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
percussion(4): xylophone, glockenspiel, bells in the distance, bells in the fortress, triangle, tam-tam, snare drum, military drum, bass drum, rattle, metallic ring of tools: blows with an axe, jangling of chains, blows on an anvil, sawing etc.
violin I
violin II
double bass
Table of contents:
Úvod / Introduktion / Introduction
Jednání I / Akt I / Act I
Jednání II / Akt II / Act II
Jednání III / Akt III / Act III
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Work introduction

Janáček did not live to see his final opera Z mrtvého domu [From the House of the Dead] performed. The work was so different from his previous operas in its often chamber-like orchestration and its lack of an apotheosis ending that his pupils took it upon themselves to ‘revise’ it for its première in Brno in 1930, reorchestrating it and, most notoriously, rewriting the ending. Ever since the shortcomings of the original published edition became apparent there have been attempts to return to what Janáček left at his death. The new critical edition by John Tyrrell supplants the Mackerras-Tyrrell ‘provisional edition’ (1990) with a thorough-going revision based on the score made by Janáček’s copyists under his direct supervision and corrected by him. In his previous operas Janáček had the opportunity of making minor corrections to the score during rehearsals. Because of his death extensive tidying up of many inconsistencies has been necessary here. All such editorial interventions are shown as such and are described in the Critical Report.

Janáček wrote his own libretto translating from the original Russian into Czech as he went along and left in many untranslated words and phrases. Previous editions replaced these with a revised text in standard Czech. With the possibility today of surtitles (which can provide the sense of what is sung on stage) the new edition prints Janáček’s original text, whose departures from standard Czech constitute an important part of the sound image of the opera. All non-standard words or phrases (whether Russian, Ukrainian, Moravian dialect, etc.) are marked with asterisks and are explained, usually with reference to Dostoevsky’s original Russian, in an extensive appendix printed at the back of the score.

Next performances

26 Oct

Aus einem Totenhaus

Venue Cymru, Llandudno (GB)

02 Nov

Aus einem Totenhaus

Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham (GB)

16 Nov

Aus einem Totenhaus

The Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol (GB)

29 Nov

Aus einem Totenhaus

New Theatre, Oxford (GB)

07 Mar

Aus einem Totenhaus

Covent Garden, London (GB)

World première

WNO Orchestra
Tomáš Hanus

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