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.