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Josef Suk began writing his Asrael Symphony in 1904 as a memorial to his revered teacher Antonin Dvorak, who had recently died. He had completed the first three movements when, in 1905, his young wife Otylka – the daughter of Dvorak – also passed away. Devastated, the composer turned the work into a requiem for the two, completing it in 1906. He gave it the subtitle Asrael, the angel of death, who in the Islamic faith leads the souls of the departed to paradise.
Josef Suk: Asrael, Op. 27
Part I: I. Andante sostenuto - Andante con moto e resoluto - Piu pesante e maestoso
Part I: II. Andante
Part I: III. Vivace - Andante sostenuto - Appassionato - Maestoso
Part II: IV. Adagio
Part II: V. Adagio e maestoso - Allegro appassionato - Adagio e maestoso - Andante maestoso - Adagio e mesto
“A real treat - Suk's Asrael in a thrilling account by the Malaysian Philharmonic. Its quality of articulation and attack is thrilling in the turbulent Scherzo, the ardour of the playing throughout akin to that of a top-class youth orchestra.”
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