Leoš Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen (Arranger: Alexander Krampe)

Leoš Janáček The Cunning Little Vixen
The Cunning Little Vixen

Leoš Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen (Arranger: Alexander Krampe)

Year of composition:
1922-1923
Subtitle:
Opera in 3 acts
Version:
version for children
Scored for:
for solos and ensemble
Composer:
Leoš Janáček
Arranger:
Alexander Krampe (2008)
Text author:
Rudolf Tesnohlidek
Librettist:
Ronny Dietrich (19.04.2007)
Roles:
Vixen, soprano Forester, baritone Forester's wife / Woodpecker, alto Cricket / Franzl (Forester's grandson) / Owl, soprano Fox, soprano Grasshopper, soprano Young frog / Jay, soprano Mosquito / Cock, tenor Dog, tenor Badger, bass 3 Hens, 2 sopranos, alto
Instrumentation:
1 1 1 1 - 1 0 0 0 - perc, acc, str
Instrumentation details:
flute (+picc)
oboe (+c.a)
clarinet in Bb
bassoon
horn in F
percussion (xylophone, vibraphone, siren, woodblock, ratchet, whip, guiro, triangle, cymbals, snare drum, bass drum)
accordion
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
Duration:
65’
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Audiosamples

The Cunning Little Vixen
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Leoš Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen is a fable which spellbinds adults and children alike. People and animals appear, their worlds interlocking. This version for children concentrates on the adventures of the vixen called Sharp-Ears. Foresters and poachers have been combined into the person of the Hunter. He has fallen asleep in a forest glade as a young vixen approaches him curiously. He captures her and takes her from her home forest to the world of humans. She feels lonely there; not even the chickens respect her. Thus a massacre ensues in the coop and the ensuing chaos helps her to flee.

Back in the forest, the vixen drives a badger away from her den and makes a new home there for herself. Soon she falls in love with a magnificent fox and they celebrate their wedding boisterously with all the invited guest animals.

The foxes have many children and enjoy a prosperous and happy time until, one day, the vixen is shot and killed by the very hunter who had once captured her; time and again he had been drawn to the forest, to the very glade where he had fallen asleep at the outset of the story. A young vixen runs by, the spitting image of her mother. The hunter, grasping Nature’s eternal cycle, consoles himself.

This children’s version endeavours to retain the wealth of colour in Janáček’s opera. In preparing the text, care was taken so that it follows Janáček’s original melodic contours on the one hand and, on the other that the vowels conform as much as possible to the original Czech wording, to preserve the speech-melody so typical of Janáček.

Ronny Dietrich

Translated by Grant Chorley

World première

Location:
Zürich
Date:
26.12.2006
Orchestra:
Orchester der Oper Zürich
Conductor:
Thomas Barthel

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