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Karel Ancerl|Josef Suk : Asrael - Krejči: Serenata

Josef Suk : Asrael - Krejči: Serenata

Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Karel Ancerl

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It should go without saying that the keystone of this record is the monumental Asraël, the masterpiece of a sadly little-known composer, Josef Suk. In reality, Suk was the "fifth man" of the great Czech circuit, alongside Smetana, Dvořák (his step-father, incidentally), Martinů and Janáček, but this side of the Vltava, he remains rather obscure. Asraël dates from 1904 to 1906, a tragic period in the life of the composer: he lost his step-father, and then his beloved young wife. The three first movements are dedicated, posthumously, to the former, and the final two movements to the latter. The listener will wait in vain for respite in this sublime, agonised, funereal, apocalyptic, desperate work, where tonality breaks out towards the first glimmerings of what Janáček will develop rather later; only in the final minutes do we hear a peaceful choral section, in a changeover of harmonies that moves from a deep growl to a celestial sharpness, which rather recalls the end of Also sprach Zarathustra by Strauss. Azraël, the reader will recall, is the angel of death in certain Jewish, Muslim and Sikh traditions. Here, the great Karel Ančerl leads a manifestly transformed Südwestfunk Orchestra of Baden-Baden. To complement the programme, one may also see another Czech composer, Iša Krejčí (1904-1968), a neoclassicist, whose career as a conductor was surely somewhat overshadowed by his work as a composer. His Serenata from 1950 rather recalls shades of Jean Françaix (and other French composers of the same ilk, like, Ibert or Sauguet): a subtle, spiritual discourse, with sharp orchestral and harmonic writing. © SM/Qobuz

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Josef Suk : Asrael - Krejči: Serenata

Karel Ancerl

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Asrael, Op. 27, Pt. 1 (Josef Suk)

1
Part I: I. Andante sostenuto - Andante con moto e resoluto - Più pesante e maestoso -
SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks
00:14:41

Josef Suk, Composer - Karel Ancerl, Conductor - SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2018 SWR Classic (P) 2018 SWR Classic

2
Part I: II. Andante -
SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks
00:07:29

Josef Suk, Composer - Karel Ancerl, Conductor - SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2018 SWR Classic (P) 2018 SWR Classic

3
Part I: III. Vivace - Andante sostenuto - Appassionato - Maestoso
SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks
00:12:20

Josef Suk, Composer - Karel Ancerl, Conductor - SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2018 SWR Classic (P) 2018 SWR Classic

Asrael, Op. 27, Pt. 2 (Josef Suk)

4
Part II: IV. Adagio
SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks
00:10:03

Josef Suk, Composer - Karel Ancerl, Conductor - SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2018 SWR Classic (P) 2018 SWR Classic

5
Part II: V. Adagio e maestoso - Allegro appassionato - Adagio e maestoso - Andante maestoso - Adagio e mesto
SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks
00:13:26

Josef Suk, Composer - Karel Ancerl, Conductor - SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2018 SWR Classic (P) 2018 SWR Classic

Serenata (Isa Krejci)

6
I. Allegro
SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks
00:06:18

Karel Ancerl, Conductor - Iša Krejčí, Composer - SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2018 SWR Classic (P) 2018 SWR Classic

7
II. Andante quasi Allegretto
SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks
00:06:35

Karel Ancerl, Conductor - Iša Krejčí, Composer - SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2018 SWR Classic (P) 2018 SWR Classic

8
III. Presto
SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks
00:03:56

Karel Ancerl, Conductor - Iša Krejčí, Composer - SWR Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2018 SWR Classic (P) 2018 SWR Classic

Album Description

It should go without saying that the keystone of this record is the monumental Asraël, the masterpiece of a sadly little-known composer, Josef Suk. In reality, Suk was the "fifth man" of the great Czech circuit, alongside Smetana, Dvořák (his step-father, incidentally), Martinů and Janáček, but this side of the Vltava, he remains rather obscure. Asraël dates from 1904 to 1906, a tragic period in the life of the composer: he lost his step-father, and then his beloved young wife. The three first movements are dedicated, posthumously, to the former, and the final two movements to the latter. The listener will wait in vain for respite in this sublime, agonised, funereal, apocalyptic, desperate work, where tonality breaks out towards the first glimmerings of what Janáček will develop rather later; only in the final minutes do we hear a peaceful choral section, in a changeover of harmonies that moves from a deep growl to a celestial sharpness, which rather recalls the end of Also sprach Zarathustra by Strauss. Azraël, the reader will recall, is the angel of death in certain Jewish, Muslim and Sikh traditions. Here, the great Karel Ančerl leads a manifestly transformed Südwestfunk Orchestra of Baden-Baden. To complement the programme, one may also see another Czech composer, Iša Krejčí (1904-1968), a neoclassicist, whose career as a conductor was surely somewhat overshadowed by his work as a composer. His Serenata from 1950 rather recalls shades of Jean Françaix (and other French composers of the same ilk, like, Ibert or Sauguet): a subtle, spiritual discourse, with sharp orchestral and harmonic writing. © SM/Qobuz

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