Leos Janacek • Fabrice Bollon

This highly original project was a happy by-product of the COVID pandemic lockdown, when the use of large orchestras was restricted. Fabrice Bollon, who enjoys a significant presence in the Naxos catalogue both as composer and conductor, devised a version of Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen using an accompaniment of just twelve instruments in new combinations of sounds that might well have been used by Janáček himself. The other two works on the programme are Šarka (a compression of Janáček’s opera into an instrumental duo) and Twelve Lilies for Leoš, Bollon's chamber concerto in three movements that uses the same instrumentation as The Cunning Little Vixen arrangement and alludes to other works by Janáček.

World Premiere Recording
Samantha Gaul 1, Irina Jae-Eun Park 1, Sopranos • Michael Borth, Baritone 1
Muriel Cantoreggi, Violin 2, 3 Dina Fortuna-Bollon, Cello 2, 3
Cantus Juvenum Karlsruhe 1 • Members of the Opernchor des Theater Freiburg 1
The Lily’s Project 1, 3 • Fabrice Bollon 1, 3

Fabrice Bollon’s Janáček project was developed during the COVID lockdown when the use of large orchestras was forbidden. Bollon wrote a version of The Cunning Little Vixen for twelve instruments – not a reduction but an imaginative recreation employing new combinations of sounds, without brass. Janáček’s vital, highly personal orchestration inspired Bollon, in his version, to make the opera more accessible and open to a wider audience. He has also compressed Šárka into a duo and written Twelve Lilies for Leoš, a colourfully scored tribute employing reminiscences from Janáček’s works.

Listen to an extract from Act II of The Cunning Little Vixen:
Ach! (Vixen, Badger, Forest Creatures)
Listen to an extract from Twelve Lilies for Leoš:
III. Osud Fantasy
About the Artists

Conductor/composer Fabrice Bollon served as general music director and chief conductor at Germany’s Theater Freiburg from 2009 to 2021, overseeing numerous recordings for Naxos that included a critically acclaimed performance of Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane. He has been chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Halle and general music director of the Halle Opera since August 2022. In 2020 his Naxos album comprising original compositions received a Choc de Classica award and an ICMA nomination.

More recordings featuring Fabrice Bollon
‘Moser responds with aplomb to the demands of this intensely atmospheric score, particularly in the various solo “intermezzo” movements. The singing, too, is excellent; both soprano Irina Jae-Eun Park and tenor Nutthaporn Thammathi bring impeccable clarity and assurance throughout.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★
Das Wunder der Heliane

Kremer • Argiris • Storey • Hebelková • Van Hove • Thammathi • Hanczár
Choirs of the Theater Freiburg • Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg • Bollon
‘Performances here are superb. The Philharmonic Orchestra of Freiburg sound every bit as sumptuous as they should under the baton of Fabrice Bollon...’
The Light Music Society
(Opera in 5 Acts)

Miller • Kohl • Park • Jung • Hebelková • Seok Lee • Yang • Gionfriddo • Lee • Koo • Carpenter • Schäfer • Cecconi
Choirs of the Theater Freiburg • Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg • Bollon
‘The terrific orchestra is responsive to the bizarre libretto, the chorus is strong, and Fabrice Bollon’s conducting brings things together magnificently. CPO’s excellent sound balances the singers and the orchestra very well, which is no small achievement in an opera like this.’
American Record Guide
‘Fabrice Bollon continues his Magnard recordings with undiminished vigour... It is a dazzling work full of good ideas, brilliantly conceived and orchestrated, which can be heard here in a very inspired version.’
Pizzicato ★★★★
For Fabrice Bollon’s complete discography on Naxos, please follow this link.

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