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The Cunning Little Vixen - Janacek


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The Cunning Little Vixen - Janacek + Leos Janacek: From the House of the Dead - Festival Aix-en-Provence 2007 + Janácek: Katia Kabanova
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nicholas Hytner's enchanting production, sung in the original Czech, is conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, a master of the best Janacek style. Through myriad shifts of scene, the episodic story is presented in brightly-colored sets and costumes of blissful innocence and simplicity, designed by Bob Crowley. Jean-Claude Gallotta's choreography for the insects and animals, and Jean Kalman's lighting add to the nostalgically poetic effect of the whole. With Thomas Allen as the Forester, the cast includes Eva Jenis, Hanna Minutillo, Richard Novak and Ivan Kusnjer. This live recording comes from the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.

Review

Highly recommended. --Video Librarian

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Thomas Allen, Eva Jenis, Sir Charles Mackerras
  • Directors: Nicholas Hytner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Czech
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0043CT91M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,033 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
83%
4 star
17%
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Vanstryland on December 24, 2010
Format: DVD
In his review, Mr. Bruno compares this DVD to a previously released Chatelet production, pronouncing the new one superior. I have the old one, released on the Image label, and the venue, conductor, director, costume designer, choreographer, year of recording and entire cast list are identical to those of this new release. I conclude that this Kultur DVD is a re-release of the same performance.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on November 23, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Those are the themes of Janacek's most vivacious opera "The Cunning Little Vixen", written in 1924 when the composer was seventy years old. Based on a Czech cartoon story, the opera tells of an aging Huntsman who captures a Vixen (a female fox) cub and raises her as a pet. Eventually the Vixen escapes back to nature, mates and has dozens of babies, and is finally killed by a poacher. The Huntsman, in the final scene, laments the death of his Vixen but celebrates the beauty of the forest and the Life Force it embodies. He sees a young vixen, obviously the 'daughter' of his Vixen, and feels himself revivified by the continuity of love and life. The Huntsman's climactic aria is one of the most moving expressions of affirmation in all of music.

This is the second release of a staging of "The Cunning Little Vixen" by the Chatelet Theatre de Paris, and it is even better than the first, which was already very fine. Many of the elements of the production are the same: both conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, both featuring Eva Jenis as the Vixen and Thomas Allen as the Huntsman. Mackerras is superb in both recordings; no one else delivers the vibrancy of Janacek's orchestrations as wellas he does. Eva Jenis is superb in both, with the same saucy resilience and foxy mischievousness. Thomas Allen was superb in the first production and even more marvelous in the second, singing that grand final aria with heart-rending sincerity, committing his whole being to the processes of Nature.

The real superiority of this second release is the dancing. "Vixen" is almost half ballet, with all the creatures of the forest - the frog, the mosquito, the rabbits, the birds, and of course the foxes in flamboyantly whimsical costumes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Jacobs on January 2, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My 2-year-old daughter loves this video and being a classical music lover I was extremely excited to have the opportunity for her to be exposed to such quality music. There are a couple scenes when the fox kills the chickens and also when she gets shot that I fast-forward through, but otherwise she loves looking at all the animated animals and the music of course is wonderful. I'm hoping it will be something she will watch for many years to come and start the process of music appreciation.
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