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Josef Suk: "Asrael" Symphony / Mackerras, Czech PO

Album Summary

>Suk, Josef : Symphony in C minor, Op. 27 "Asrael"
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Suk’s Asreal – Sir Charles Mackerras’s last previously unrealeased recording with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

"Despite the shattering force of "Asrael," especially in the devastating climax of the opening movement, there are many passages of transcendant loveliness in the score, and the close of the Finale is luminous. Mackerras and the orchestra are superbly recorded by Supraphon, and the wide dynamic range of the live performance is captured, from the softest pizzicato to the most forceful tutti." -All Music Guide

"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

"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." -The Sunday Times

"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

"The Czech Philharmonic’s live performance breathes a conviction and beneath-the-skin rapture that you won’t find in any other recording." -The Financial Times

"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

"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

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Rudolfinum, Prague (04/05/2007-04/06/2007).


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Works Details

>Suk, Josef : Symphony in C minor, Op. 27 "Asrael"
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Rudolfinum, Prague (04/05/2007-04/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 59 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1905