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Leoš Janáček: Suite

(Arranger: Sir Charles Mackerras)

  • from the opera ‘The cunning little vixen’ (Mackerras) (2006)
  • for orchestra
  • 4 3 3 3 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, perc, hp, cel, str
  • Duration: 22’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    3rd flute (+picc)
    4th flute (+picc)
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    cor anglais
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb (+cl(Eb))
    bass clarinet in Bb
    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 (ad lib)
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    violin I
    violin II
  • Composer: Leoš Janáček
  • Arranger: Sir Charles Mackerras

arrangements & translations

Work specifications



Arrangement Information

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Work introduction

The Suite is based entirely on music from the Act One. This Act is largely balletic, one can almost see all the animals and insects as well as the capture of the Vixen by the Forester and her escape. Up until now the Suite has always been played in an orchestration by Václav Talich, who, as much as I revered him, did rather odd things with it. During his Directorship of the National Theatre, he had said that he could not possibly perform the Vixen there unless it was entirely re-orchestrated. He engaged two people to do so, which today seems incredible because the orchestration of the opera is one of Janá?ek’s most colourful and original. Talich’s re-orchestration of the Suite has become standard and beautiful as it sounds, it rather emasculates the very acid sounds produced for the insects and the contrasts that Janá?ek achieves with his orchestration, which is strange but certainly not amateurish. I think that everybody has to agree that Janá?ek’s original orchestration of these passages sounds more characteristic. Talich’s and my Suite contains the same music simply being Act One played from beginning to end with certain small cuts. The difference is that I adhere to Janá?ek’s original orchestration.

Sir Charles Mackerras

This Suite is based on the scientifically edited new edition of the opera “Das schlaue Füchslein” by Ji?í Zahrádka.


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

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