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Josef Suk (1874-1935)

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Suk & Dvorak: Violin Chamber Works

Suk & Dvorak: Violin Chamber Works


Dvorak:

Miniatures Op. 75a

Miroslav Ambros (violin), Karel Untermüller (viola)

Terzetto in C major for two Violins and Viola, Op. 74

Miroslav Ambros (violin), Karel Untermüller (viola)

Bagatelles, Op. 47

Miroslav Ambros (violin), Jiri Barta (cello), Jan Simon (harmonium)

Suk:

Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 1

Karel Untermüller (viola), Jiri Barta (cello), Jan Simon (piano)


Josef Suk (violin)

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Suk: Asrael Symphony, A Summer's Tale, The Ripening & other orchestral works

Suk: Asrael Symphony, A Summer's Tale, The Ripening & other orchestral works


Suk:

Asrael Symphony, Op. 27

A Summer's Tale, Op. 29

Praga. Symphonic Poem, Op. 26

The Ripening, Op. 34

A Fairy Tale, Op. 16

Epilogue, Op. 37


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Suk: Asrael Symphony, Op. 27

Suk: Asrael Symphony, Op. 27

Recorded live at the Rudolfinum, Prague, on April 5-6, 2007


Suk’s Asrael – Sir Charles Mackerras’s unreleased recording with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

Josef Suk began writing the funeral symphony Asrael to commemorate his teacher and father-in-law Antonín Dvořák. During the course of work, however, Fate dealt him another crushing blow: Asrael, the Angel of Death, took away Suk’s wife and Dvořák’s daughter, Otilie. The symphony is a story of a suffering whose strength seems simply unendurable, yet also a story of its overcoming, seeking solace and hope.

Sir Charles Mackerras’s live recording of Asrael originated on a Good Friday, 6 April 2007, one hundred years after the symphony’s premiere. The Australian conductor had first heard about the Asrael some sixty years previously from Suk’s close friend, Václav Talich. In later years Mackerras confessed that he perceived the work in a completely different light after his daughter had died. Sir Charles conducted Suk’s Asrael during one of his last performances with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. It is also his last previously unreleased recording with this orchestra.

“There are so many moments that come memorably to life in this reading...the driving energy of Mackerras's conducting is thrilling, and the combination of clarity and warmth that he finds in Suk's orchestral textures comes across impressively...it's quite simply the greatest performance I've ever heard of Asrael” International Record Review, March 2011

“Mackerras has the advantage of an orchestra that has lived and breathed this music for 100 years — it was premiered exactly a century before these concerts — and his own deep involvement with Czech music gives him persuasive insights.” Sunday Times, 20th March 2011 ****

“Mackerras's performance has a wonderful objectivity about it, as well as a quiet intimacy in the more reflective moments. Superbly played, it's a perfect demonstration of why Mackerras was a great conductor, and of his ability to bring the best out of whoever and whatever he was conducting.” The Guardian, 31st March 2011 ****

“The Czech Philharmonic’s live performance breathes a conviction and beneath-the-skin rapture that you won’t find in any other recording.” Financial Times, 16th April 2011 ****

“Asrael encompasses formal experiment, superb orchestration, a magnificent grasp of scale and, above all, an unerring feel for catharsis...Charles Mackerras's performance encapsulates all of these qualities...Not only does he see the staggering originality of Suk's vision, but, effortlessly, he folds into his interpretation the depth of his knowledge of the Czech repertoire...this is the closest to the definitive version we have.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2011 *****

“Mackerras keeps a shrewdly tight rein on Suk's huge structure, while allowing impressive momentum and emotional firepower to build in the big central scherzo movement...a remarkable performance of a remarkable work.” Classic FM Magazine, June 2011 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

21st March 2011

GGramophone Awards 2011

Finalist - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2011

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - May 2011

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Suk: String Quartets Nos 1 and 2

Suk: String Quartets Nos 1 and 2


Suk:

String Quartet in B flat Op. 11

String Quartet in B flat Op. 31

Tempo di Minuetto for String Quartet

Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale Saint Wenceslas for String Orchestra, Op. 35a


Suk Quartet

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Suk - Symphony in E major

Suk - Symphony in E major


Dvorak:

In Nature's Realm Overture, Op. 91

Carnival Overture, Op. 92

Suk:

Symphony in E major, Op. 14


Dvorák’s overtures In Nature’s Realm and Carnival, completed in 1892, need no introduction. The case, however, is different with Symphony in E major, which Suk began composing a mere five years later, as Dvorák’s pupil. The symphony is – notwithstanding the composer’s tender age, 23 – a manifestation of absolute artistic maturity and independence. In 1899 the work was premiered by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Oskar Nedbal.

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Bohemian Impressions

Bohemian Impressions


Dvorak:

Czech Suite, Op. 39: Preludium & Romance

In Nature's Realm Overture, Op. 91

Fibich:

At Twilight, Symphonic Poem for Orchestra, Op. 39

Janacek:

Pilky (No. 6 from Lachian Dances)

The Cunning Little Vixen: Introduction

Martinu:

Bouquet of Flowers. A cycle of Compositions to Folk Texts for Mixed (Children´s) Choirs, Soloists and Small Orchestra, H. 260

Novák, V:

Slovácká svita, Op. 32: The Amorous Couple

Slovácká svita, Op. 32: The Country Musicians

Smetana:

Má Vlast: Z ceských luhu a háju

Suk:

A Summer's Tale, Op. 29: Intermezzo – Blind Musicians


The names of Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů are rightly synonymous with the global fame of Czech music. And it was frequently the compositions inspired by the beauty of the beloved homeland (and its folk music) that brought its creators to the attention of listeners worldwide.

A case in point is Smetana’s My Country, yet other composers too reflected the land of their heart, its natural and folk motifs in their works (Janáček’s Lachian Dances, Novák’s Moravian-Slovak Suite, Dvořák’s Czech Suite, Martinů’s Bouquet of Flowers, etc.). Bohemian Impressions is a selection of the most beautiful melodies that grew out of this inspiration – a gallery of images and reminiscences from the places where one feels most alive and keeps returning to.

Amid the wide harmonies – how wide are the horizons seen from the Vysočina hills? – flash the sparks of lively colours with which a composer let himself be carried away by the rhythms of folk dances at a village ball. This is a musical landscape singing of love, colours, scents and tranquillity; a landscape in which you will feel alive. The most beautiful music from Bohemian fields and groves – a landscape of the heart to which we keep returning.

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Czech Classical Hits

Czech Classical Hits


Dvorak:

Slavonic Dance No. 1 in C Major, Op. 46 No. 1

Čert a Káča: Prelude to Act Three

Waltz in A major (No. 1 from Waltzes, Op. 54)

Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88: III. Allegretto grazioso

Polonaise in E flat major for orchestra, B100

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World' - Allegro

Nedbal:

The Tale of Simple Johnny: Valse triste

Novák, V:

Slovácká svita, Op. 32: The Amorous Couple

Smetana:

The Bartered Bride Overture

Má Vlast: Sárka

Nasim devám, polka for orchestra in D major

Suk:

Serenade for String Orchestra in E flat, Op. 6: Andante con moto

Longing


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Dvořák, Suk, Janáček: Violin Concertos

Dvořák, Suk, Janáček: Violin Concertos


Dvorak:

Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53

Janacek:

Violin Concerto 'Pilgrimage of the Soul'

Suk:

Fantasy for Violin & Orchestra, Op. 24


Dvořák – Suk – Janáček. Three very different composers with three different stories, and yet there is a great closeness and spiritual kinship between them.

Dvořák’s op. 53 is now part of the repertoire of all the world’s great violinists, however even that greatest of virtuosi, Joseph Joachim – the man to whom Dvořák dedicated the work – helped search for and was closely involved in shaping the concerto's final form.

Suk’s Fantasy in G minor is, internally, a highly diverse work, a kind of virtuoso, rhapsodic symphonic poem for violin that stands on the threshold of a new and momentous creative period in the composer’s work.

And what of Janáček: he already had a name for his intended violin concerto, "The Wandering of a Little Soul", but in the end he used the material he had collected in his final opera "From the House of the Dead". The material from which the concerto was later reconstructed is typical Janáček: sharply defined, with great energy and urgency.

The 28-‐year old violinist Josef Špaček, a laureate of the keenly watched Queen Elisabeth Music Competition, recorded these concerts live with "his" Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under it's principal conductor Jiří Bělohlávek.

“[The Janáček] is given a superb, heart-rending performance here by Josef Špaček backed by the deep understanding that Jiří Bělohlávek brings especially to the music of his native country. That is equally true of the Dvořák Concerto...Špaček is a compelling protagonist here, with a richness and piquancy of timbre that contributes to an interpretation not merely of virtuosity and flair but also of expressiveness.” The Telegraph, 26th April 2015 ****

“the violinist’s individual, deeply considered and virtuosic account of Dvorak’s solo part is the highlight of this keenly conceived programme. He is extrovert in the dancing rhythms of the outer Allegros and spellbindingly inward in the serene Adagio. In this repertoire, Spacek is second to none today.” Sunday Times, 26th April 2015

“the young Joseph Špaček reminded me more both of his great forebear Josef Suk and, at times of David Oistrakh. It's mostly to do with the firm cut of his bowing, the clarity of his articulation and the sureness of his rhythmic attack. His tone is sweetly expressive but he varies it according to the dictates of the passing musical phrase.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2015

“If anything Josef Špaček, the young concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic, makes an even more powerful impression than his illustrious predecessor [Josef Suk]. His is a full-blooded performance with the Czech Philharmonic under its music director with him all the way…[this] young violinist has embarked on what is a very promising career.” MusicWeb International, June 2015

“This is a boldly imaginative gathering of Czech works for solo violin and orchestra…Josef Špaček, with Jiří Bělohlávek's wonderfully attentive orchestral accompaniment, produces a near-ideal interpretation [of the Suk]…many will warm to Špaček's soft-grained tone, especially in the slow movement [of the Dvorak].” BBC Music Magazine, September 2015

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Dvorak & Suk - Music for Violin & Piano

Dvorak & Suk - Music for Violin & Piano


Dvorak:

Violin Sonata in F major, Op. 57 (B 106)

Nocturne in B major for violin & piano, Op. 40 (B48a)

Slavonic Dance No. 10 in E minor, Op. 72 No. 2

Kreisler:

Slavonic Dances

transcription of Dvorak Slavonic Dances Op. 46/2, 72/1 & 72/8

Suk:

Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 17


Pavel Šporcl (violin) & Petr Jirikovsky (piano)

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Dvorak & Suk: Orchestral Miniatures

Dvorak & Suk: Orchestral Miniatures


Dvorak:

Festival March in C major, Op. 54

Polonaise in E flat major for orchestra, B100

Polka in B flat major, Op. 53a/1 'For Prague Students'

Prague Waltzes, B99

Waltzes, Op. 54

Suk:

Fantastické Scherzo Op. 25


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