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Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks - Suk: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 27 "Asrael" (Live)

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Suk: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 27 "Asrael" (Live)

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jakub Hrusa

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In 1905, when Josef Suk composed Asrael, his funeral symphony, he was mourning. He had recently lost both his father-in-law, Antonín Dvořák, and, a few months later, his beloved wife, Otilie. Deeply wounded by his loss, Suk turned Asrael into a rich and dense five-movement piece, lasting more than an hour. Of course, Josef Suk was mainly influenced by Dvořák. Nevertheless, he managed to find his own language, partly inspired by Richard Strauss and always playing with the boundaries of tonality. The Asrael Symphony is a long dance of death. It features the angel of death (Azraël in the Hebrew, Muslim and Sikh traditions) conceptualized as a recurring obsession. The piece’s structure is complex but various traditional styles are recognizable, such as a fugue and a scherzo. The music is dark and comforting, at the same time. The double basses, trombones, tubas, and bass drums dominate the low sound of its large symphonic orchestra. Asrael also includes a traditional soloist violinist playing a genuine and seductive part throughout the piece.

Josef Suk’s extensive repertoire remains largely obscure outside of his home country but, since 2004 young Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša has been promoting his work with great dedication. In 2004 already, Hrůša performed Asrael for his graduation ceremony at the Rudolfinum in Prague. He was 23. In 2015, he recorded a first version of this masterpiece with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. The record was released on independent label Exton. Hrůša knows the music by heart and conducts with care and determination. He often includes the piece in his programs when he is invited to perform with the three orchestras that he regularly leads: the Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra where he stands as artistic director, the Czech Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra, as guest conductor. This record was made in October 2018 at the Gasteig in Munich, where Hrůša gave two concerts with the excellent Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Suk: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 27 "Asrael" (Live)

Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks

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Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 27 "Asrael" (Jusef Suk)

1
I. Andante sostenuto (Live)
00:16:13

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Jakub Hrusa, Conductor - Jusef Suk, Composer

(C) 2020 BR-Klassik (P) 2020 BR-Klassik

2
II. Andante (Live)
00:08:01

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Jakub Hrusa, Conductor - Jusef Suk, Composer

(C) 2020 BR-Klassik (P) 2020 BR-Klassik

3
III. Vivace - Andante sostenuto - Quasi tempo I (Live)
00:12:32

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Jakub Hrusa, Conductor - Jusef Suk, Composer

(C) 2020 BR-Klassik (P) 2020 BR-Klassik

4
IV. Adagio (Live)
00:11:17

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Jakub Hrusa, Conductor - Jusef Suk, Composer

(C) 2020 BR-Klassik (P) 2020 BR-Klassik

5
V. Adagio e maestoso - Allegro appassionato - Adagio e mesto (Live)
00:14:36

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Jakub Hrusa, Conductor - Jusef Suk, Composer

(C) 2020 BR-Klassik (P) 2020 BR-Klassik

Album Description

In 1905, when Josef Suk composed Asrael, his funeral symphony, he was mourning. He had recently lost both his father-in-law, Antonín Dvořák, and, a few months later, his beloved wife, Otilie. Deeply wounded by his loss, Suk turned Asrael into a rich and dense five-movement piece, lasting more than an hour. Of course, Josef Suk was mainly influenced by Dvořák. Nevertheless, he managed to find his own language, partly inspired by Richard Strauss and always playing with the boundaries of tonality. The Asrael Symphony is a long dance of death. It features the angel of death (Azraël in the Hebrew, Muslim and Sikh traditions) conceptualized as a recurring obsession. The piece’s structure is complex but various traditional styles are recognizable, such as a fugue and a scherzo. The music is dark and comforting, at the same time. The double basses, trombones, tubas, and bass drums dominate the low sound of its large symphonic orchestra. Asrael also includes a traditional soloist violinist playing a genuine and seductive part throughout the piece.

Josef Suk’s extensive repertoire remains largely obscure outside of his home country but, since 2004 young Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša has been promoting his work with great dedication. In 2004 already, Hrůša performed Asrael for his graduation ceremony at the Rudolfinum in Prague. He was 23. In 2015, he recorded a first version of this masterpiece with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. The record was released on independent label Exton. Hrůša knows the music by heart and conducts with care and determination. He often includes the piece in his programs when he is invited to perform with the three orchestras that he regularly leads: the Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra where he stands as artistic director, the Czech Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra, as guest conductor. This record was made in October 2018 at the Gasteig in Munich, where Hrůša gave two concerts with the excellent Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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