Josef Suk: Prague; Summer's Tale / BBC SO, Belohlavek

Album Summary

>Suk, Josef : Pohadka Leta (A Summer Tale), Tone Poem For large Orchestra, A, Op. 29
>Suk, Josef : Praga, Op. 26
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Two symphonic poems by Suk are performed here by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiri Belohlavek, who also brought us the highly acclaimed recording of the composer's First Symphony and Ripening, which was Disc of the Month in the magazine BBC Music. Belohlávek and his players produce an eloquent, infectious, and above all, Idiomatic performance' Disc of the Month, BBC Music.

Sunday Times, October 2012
In this superb performance, it is the introspective passages [of 'Prague'] that impress and move.

BBC Music Magazine, October 2012
Belohlavek's pacing enhances Suk's abundant inspiration, often with intoxicating results. Throughout, the BBC Symphony Orchestra responds magnificently as an ensemble, bringing an almost operatic excitement to Prague...Both performances stand very high measured against the exacting tradition of some great Czech performances and are well served by this excellent recording.

bbc.co.uk, September 2012
The orchestral sound may not be distinctively Czech, but the vibrant playing is full of character and brings the work ['Prague'] alive brilliantly...They bring the same dedication to A Summer's Tale...Belohlávek and the BBC SO make a powerful and impassioned case for this intense work, one that deserves to be much wider known.

Financial Times, September 2012
Excellent performances: Belohlávek has done wonders to acquaint us with the lesser-known Czech repertoire.

Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2012
The Czech woodwinds are inimitably individual...Belohlavek holds the tension in both pieces from the first bar to the last. Wonderful.

The Guardian, August 2012
The language is highly wrought - late-romantic, with just occasional hints that Suk may have been aware of the musical world that Debussy had revealed - and Suk's models were presumably were Dvor?ák's late symphonic poems. But Suk's efforts lack the conciseness and the dramatic instincts of his mentor's.

American Record Guide, January/February 2013
To his superb rendition of The Ripening (March/April 2011), Belohlavek adds another pair of powerful readings. His tempos are rather broad, but he keeps the thread unbroken - not a simple task in A Summer's Tale, which threatens to meander. There is another fine reading of A Summer's Tale on CPO, coupled with Liadov's Enchanted Lake. As in the Strauss Domestica disc earlier, the choice may devolve to the coupler, Prague being a longer, weightier item. The BBC orchestra plays eloquently, and Chandos's sound is up to its usual high standard.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Watford Colosseum (01/03/2012-01/04/2012).



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Works Details

>Suk, Josef : Pohádka Léta (A Summer Tale), Tone Poem For large Orchestra, A, Op. 29
  • Conductor: Jirí Belohlávek
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Watford Colosseum (01/03/2012-01/04/2012)
  • Running Time: 53 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1907

>Suk, Josef : Praga, Op. 26
  • Conductor: Jirí Belohlávek
  • Notes: Watford Colosseum (01/03/2012-01/04/2012)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1904