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Suk: Orchestral Works (Symphony In E Major Op.14/ Ripening Op.34) Hybrid SACD

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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  • Suk: Orchestral Works (Symphony In E Major Op.14/ Ripening Op.34)
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  • Suk: Prague/ Summers Tale (Orchestral Works) (BBC Symphony Orchestra; Jií Blohlávek) (Chandos: CHSA 5109)
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Product details

  • Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Jií Belohlávek
  • Composer: Josef Suk
  • Audio CD (31 Aug. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B003WL7EAI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,516 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Symphonie op.14 - Maturation op.34 / New London Chamber Choir - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Jirí Belohlávek, direction

Review

Belohlavek exerts firm control over the work's mighty spans and externalising all its richness and extraordinary passion.The BBC Symphony Orchestra responds magnificently with sumptious string playing and flawless ensemble.All in all,this superbly recorded and immensely impressive reading makes the case for a work that deserves to be far better known. Performance ***** Recording ***** BBC MUSIC CHOICE DISC OF THE MONTH. --BBC Music Magazine,Nov 2010

Belohlavek's passion and sense of momentum grant a new generation of listeners a credible modern benchmark. GRAMOPHONE RECOMMENDS --Gramophone,Nov'10

Belohlavek inspires the BBCSO to a blazing performance. **** --Daily Telegraph,04/09/10

What you hear on this CD is as much an astonishing testament to the abilities of modern day sound engineers as it is a fine performance.Ripening starts Copland-esque spaciousness, a sort of gentle yearning that eventually yields to that rollercoaster that Suk referred to.The composer's creativity is a marvel. ***** CD OF THE MONTH --Classic FM Magazine,Dec'10

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a live performance in front of an audience not put together in a studio (as the obsessives out there will know the acoustic is different) but like most of Chandos stuff beautifully recorded. The music? -- just blissful. Recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9848781c) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x984ecbd0) out of 5 stars An Incomparable champion of Josef Suk 9 Oct. 2010
By AndrewCF - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Suk: Ripening (symphonic poem), Op. 34 / Praga (symphonic poem), Op. 26Suk: Asrael Symphony / Fairy Tale / Serenade StringsSuk: Summer Tale / Fantastic Scherzo - Charles Mackerras / Czech PhilharmonicSuk: Symphony in E major; Dvorák: In Nature's Realm; Carnival The composer Josef Suk has often been called the "Czech Mahler," but this moniker is only apt because his greatest scores are deeply personal and emotional expressions arising from grief, healing, and the journey of the soul towards enlightenment. Stylistically, his music bears little of the nostalgia and histrionics of the beloved German composer. After a period of Dvorakian development, Suk seemed to have a more obvious kinship with the Expressionists; you can hear glimmers of Scriabin, Szymanowski, Schreker, Richard Strauss and Zemlinsky in "Asrael" and the tone poems. This recording of "Ripening" easily supersedes all previous, including the first-rate version by Pesek with the Czech Philharmonic (Virgin). This hybrid CD is lush and expansive. Belohlavek (who gave us a monumental "Asrael" on Chandos) breathes new fire and urgency into his interpretation; Pesek is slightly more meditative and sensuous (both are valid approaches). It is a pity that the late Sir Charles Mackerras didn't record this work (if you don't have Mackerras' "A Summer Tale" on Decca, you must seek it out before it disappears), bringing his own special insight. As for the Symphony No. 1, no other recording comes close to this Chandos. The 2008 Supraphon recording with Tomas Netopil conducting the Prague Symphony is bland and uninvolving; much finer is the old 1982 Supraphon conducted by Vaclav Neumann (OOP), which has spirit and ardor in decent sound. The pastoral thrust of Dvorak, especially in the 6th and 7th Symphonies, inspire a passionate performance by Belohlavek, and Suk's early work can now be evaluated as seminal to his growth as a composer. Easily one of the finest recordings of the year.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x982a44b0) out of 5 stars A stunner........a lush sonic shockwave of power and majesty 2 July 2011
By Neal Schultz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As I've gotten older, and as an unfortunate consequence for live performing artists, I've attended live performances less and less. Much of the reason for this is due to the economics (I suppose) and dominance of mainstream repertoire. How many times can one honestly hear Tchaikovsky's 4th or Beethoven's 7th? I make an exception for Mahler, of course. I increasingly have come to reject this common notion of 1st tier and 2nd tier composers as being some barrier through which we should harness our live-viewing habits. Case in point (of many, many) is Josef Suk. This is strong powerful music that really has something to say. This ultimately is my arbiter for music that is worth hearing and valuing. The previous reviewers have already made the case for Suk as yet another neglected composer that we NEVER hear in the concert halls outside of central Europe. This is why this recording in particular is so fantastic. The sonics, performance and mastering by Belohlavek and Chandos are beyond compelling. For those who were ever fortunate (I speak in the past tense now sadly) to see a Space Shuttle launch there is this palpable feeling of FEELING the power generated from sonic shockwaves. This was the same feeling I came away from this disc. I do agree that Suk could be categorized (if we must...) as a Czech expressionist who loved Dvorak's music and this perhaps is a good way to approach your initial introduction to him.

This is a demonstration-worthy CD that carefully manages the Suk's musical energy when tempered and flared such that wide-eyed astonishment is the result.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x982a46f0) out of 5 stars Tremendous! 17 Dec. 2010
By Mogulmeister - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jiri Behlolavek continues his impressive cycle of the major Suk works with this absolute winner of a disk containing "Ripening" and Suk's 1st symphony ("Asrael" is actually Symphony #2). "Ripening" comes following "Asrael" and the equally magnificent "A Summer's Tale," but is the most difficult of these three works to get inside. This is an outstanding performance in every way, and is a clear first-choice (the only two other performances I've heard are Pesek's and Neumann's). "Ripening" is dense, but it has something to say and is worth sticking with until it comes together for you. I wouldn't recommend "Ripening" as anyone's first exposure to Suk--start with Behlolavek's performance of "Asrael" instead.

I had never heard Symphony #1 before, and have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised. I've read comments about it by others, dismissing it as a lightweight inconsequential work, but in fact it's a fully mature symphony that stands on its own. It's first rate material--even if it has echoes of Dvorak--and deserves to be part of the mainstream symphonic repetoire and played regularly.

The performances on this disk are excellent, and the sound is fantastic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x982a4894) out of 5 stars Thoroughly exhilarating! 17 Mar. 2014
By Kent Minault - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have a lot of CD's on my shelf. I can't give a disc five stars unless I feel a real itch in my fingers as they scan the rack. This one makes them positively quiver.
Josef Suk always seemed to me to be a skilled and passionate composer, but lacking the genius of his mentor and inspiration, Dvorak. The two pieces on this disc languished on my shelf in very fine recordings by Vaclav Neumann. Very distinguished, but not enough so to make my fingers quiver. The playing here is in a different league.
And my deeper involvement in this recording taught me something about Suk which a little further study has backed up. A first listening will tell you that these are two very different pieces of music. Though first on the disc, Ripening is a much later work in Suk's career. The Symphony #1 was written before 1897, just as a period of intense stylistic change was beginning for the composer. It was written under the influence of Dvorak's passionate pastoralism, which received its deepest expression in his 7th and 8th symphonies. So if you like those works, I think you'll enjoy what Belohlavek does with this.
But Ripening is a much darker work, written over the years 1912-1917 which cover the outbreak of the First World War. Suk's obsession with pain and death began at the end of his transition period, in 1905, when he lost both his mentor, Antonin Dvorak and his daughter, Otilie, who was Dvorak's daughter. From this point on, Suk's work veers away from the inspired nationalism and love of nature he inherited from his master, and heads into a pessimistic questioning of the value of life. It's this darker thinking that receives its most persuasive expression in "Ripening," which uses a much lusher and more intricate orchestral palette. Belohlavek has chosen possibly the two most contrasting works from Suk's orchestral opus and given them fresh and deeply committed performances. If you want to get what Suk has to say, this disc is a good place to start. And if you already like his Serenade for Strings or other symphonic works, this disc will deepen your connection to him.
He doesn't need to take a back seat to his father-in-law after all.
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