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Josef Suk: Symphony "Asrael" op. 27 [Import]

Josef Suk , Peter Schneider , Orchestra of Montpellier Lanquedoc-Rouss , Jacques Prat Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Jacques Prat
  • Orchestra: Orchestra of Montpellier Lanquedoc-Rouss
  • Conductor: Peter Schneider
  • Composer: Josef Suk
  • Audio CD (August 15, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Naive / Musicales Actes Sud
  • ASIN: B00004X0B2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #991,792 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony in C minor, Op. 27 ('Asrael'): Andante sostenuto
2. Symphony in C minor, Op. 27 ('Asrael'): Andante
3. Symphony in C minor, Op. 27 ('Asrael'): Vivace
4. Symphony in C minor, Op. 27 ('Asrael'): Adagio
5. Symphony in C minor, Op. 27 ('Asrael'): Adagio maestoso

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Josef Suk's Asrael Symphony of 1905-1906 represents the turning point of his career (and his musical identity). Before the symphony, much of Suk's writing was under the heavy influence of his teacher and father-in-law Antonin Dvorak (in mannerism) and Richard Strauss (in orchestration), even to the point of being derivative. Hence, Suk's Seranade for Strings is pleasantly written, with the Adagio introspective & melancholic. But the Suk's personality have little presence while the world of Dvorak is profound (too profound for its own good I'm afraid).

The Asrael Symphony changed all that. Asrael, an angel who takes the soul from the departed in Muslim folklore, occupied Suk's mind after the death of Dvorak in 1904. Originally, the Symphony was to be in three movements, all of which were completed by the spring of 1905 and dedicated to the memory of Dvorak. Otilka, Dvorak's eldest daughter and Suk wife by 1898, passed away on July 5th, 1905 of a heart condition, and Suk added two movements to the symphony dedicated in her memory. Never before had Suk written a work of such profound originality and depth, with the conception every bit as powerful as a Mahler symphony (minus the neuroticism). It's striking how the Finale begins: with the announcement four timpanies, thus returning to the reality of the tragic losses after the sweet, innocent adagio portraying Otilka (with the irregular drum beat signifying her weak heart). In Asrael, and in every work since, Suk had entered a new music territory, his reflections of life in every way profound and genuine, giving us his journey from shock and uppermost despair, to his gradual acceptance of the beauties and the pains life has to offer.
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