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Janacek: Orchestral Suites From The Operas Vol. 3 / Breiner, New Zealand Symphony


Release Date: 08/25/2009 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570706   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Leos Janácek
Performer:  Bridget DouglasVesa-Matti Leppanen
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Peter Breiner's arrangements of music from these two operas succeed on a number of levels. First, the two works offer a great deal of symphonic music to work with (the ballets in Vixen, and the overture and pantomime in House). Second, he has arranged the excerpts very intelligently for continuous listening. In the Vixen Suite it's great to hear the scene in Act 3 with the baby foxes, and it makes an excellent lead-in to the final bars. Similarly, the preludes to the second and third acts of House are nicely integrated into lengthier tracts of music.

Yes, I have a couple of quibbles. The added percussion is completely unnecessary: why all the triangle in the Vixen suite? Obviously there's nothing wrong with substituting
Read more instruments for vocal lines, or filling out the texture of bare accompaniments, but Breiner gets a bit carried away in spots (though certainly not worse than Janácek's early arrangers, Vaclav Talich included).

As a conductor, Breiner is almost totally successful. Occasionally his tempos drag a bit, as in the "Eagle, King of the Forests" music in House, or in the closing scene of the Vixen's first act--it ought to be mayhem personified, but here it's simply too careful. Elsewhere, everything goes very well, with the New Zealand Symphony making a more positive impression here than in earlier releases in this series. Perhaps it's at least partly due to the generally more colorful orchestration, which the engineering projects to vivid effect. Strongly recommended.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. The Cunning Little Vixen- Suite: 1. The Blue Dragonfly by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Bridget Douglas (Flute), Vesa-Matti Leppanen (Violin)
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1923; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 9 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
2. The Cunning Little Vixen- Suite: 2. At the Gamekeeper's Yard by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Vesa-Matti Leppanen (Violin)
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1923; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 8 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
3. The Cunning Little Vixen- Suite: 3. Am I Really that Beautiful? by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1923; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 8 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
4. The Cunning Little Vixen- Suite: 4. The Wedding by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1923; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
5. The Cunning Little Vixen- Suite: 5. Wanderer's Song by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1923; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 6 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
6. The Cunning Little Vixen- Suite: 6. Vixen is Running by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1923; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
7. From the House of the Dead- Suite: 1. Overture by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Vesa-Matti Leppanen (Violin)
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1928; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 6 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
8. From the House of the Dead- Suite: 2. One Hundred by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1928; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
9. From the House of the Dead- Suite: 3. Holiday is coming by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1928; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 5 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
10. From the House of the Dead- Suite: 4. Dear, dear Alyeya by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1928; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
11. From the House of the Dead- Suite: 5. The Play and the Pantomime by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1928; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 11 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 
12. From the House of the Dead- Suite: 6. Jesus, God's Prophets by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1928; Brno, Czech Republic 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Peter Breiner. 

Sound Samples

The Cunning Little Vixen Suite: I. Modra vazka (The Blue Dragonfly)
The Cunning Little Vixen Suite: II. U revirnika (At the Gamekeeper's Yard)
The Cunning Little Vixen Suite: III. Jsem opravdu tak krasna? (Am I Really that Beautiful?)
The Cunning Little Vixen Suite: IV. Svatba (The Wedding)
The Cunning Little Vixen Suite: V. Tulakova pisen (Wanderer's Song)
The Cunning Little Vixen Suite: VI. Bezi liska k Taboru (Vixen is Running)
From the House of the Dead Suite (arr. P. Breiner): I. Overture
From the House of the Dead Suite (arr. P. Breiner): II. Sto (One Hundred)
From the House of the Dead Suite (arr. P. Breiner): III. Bude prazdnik (Holiday is coming)
From the House of the Dead Suite (arr. P. Breiner): IV. Drahy, drahy Aljejo (Dear, dear Alyeya)
From the House of the Dead Suite (arr. P. Breiner): V. Hra a pantomima (The Play and the Pantomime)
From the House of the Dead Suite (arr. P. Breiner): VI. Isaj, prorok bozi (Jesus, God's Prophet)

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