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Cat. No. CHSA 5109 Price: £11.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHSA 5109 - Suk: Prague/A Summer's Tale
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Available From: 01 September 2012

Chandos CHAN 5109

Suk: Prague; A Summer’s Tale – BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jirí Belohlávek

Two symphonic poems by Suk are performed here by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jirí Belohlávek, 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.

A Summer’s Tale is a highly personal work, rich and imaginative, not to mention brilliantly orchestrated in late romantic style. The work followed the heartfelt and sorrowful outpouring of the Asrael Symphony of 1905 – 06, composed in memory of his father-in-law, Antonín Dvo?ák, and wife, Otilka.

The symphonic poem Prague is likewise strongly personal and atmospheric, speaking of the history and mystery of Suk’s home city, its troubles and its triumphs. The opening section conjures up a picture of the early morning mists rising from the Vltava, the river flowing through the city. As the mists begin to lift, the ancient fortress of Vyšehrad emerges high above on its rock. Gradually the mists disperse and Prague appears in all its glory in the sunlight. The mood then darkens, now speaking of past troubled times; but the work ends on a jubilant note, in a triumphant blaze of glory.


                         Winner of Orchestral category
                Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2013

 "... The BBC Orchestra plays eloquently, and Chandos’s sound is up to its usual high standard."
Don O’Connor - American Record Guide - January/February 2013

 "...Like their recent Asrael this pair of performances represents the partnership between Jirí Belohlávek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at its fruitful best. Though he is no longer their chief conductor they will continue to work together. Let’s hope that will include more recordings: it would be marvellous if they were to record more Suk, especially Ripening and Epilogue."

John Quinn - MusicWeb-International.com - January 2013

         Music ***** (Excellent)             Sound **** (Very Good)

Clemens Haustein - Fono Forum magazine - January 2013

           Album of the Week
“...the Czech conductor proves as strong an advocate for this haunting, richly orchestrated music as he has for Smetana, Martinu and Dvorak...”
Hugh Canning – The Sunday Times – 14 October 2012

“...The performance is magnificent, Jirí Belohlávek at-one with the music and inspiring the BBC Symphony Orchestra to shape and shade the score’s every nook and cranny in the most persuasive way... In both works the recorded sound, as opulent as it is lucid as it is dynamic, is the perfect complement.”
Colin Anderson  - theclassicalsource.com – September 2012

“...Both scores convey the essence of Suk’s orchestral style, his wide range of musical moods, the subtlety of his palette, his expert use of solo instruments  (woodwind especially), his distinctive harmonic language and his ability to chart powerful climaxes without resorting to bombast.  In lesser hands the close of Praga can sound like a filmic recollection of Má vlast’s finale, but not here, where the cumulative impact of the piece (complete with thundering organ) is immense...  this [A Summer’s Tale} richly scored and often exciting early-20th-century score is infused with local flavouring at times disquieting ... and Belohlávek holds the tension in both pieces from the first bar to the last. Wonderful!”
Rob Cowan – Gramophone magazine – Awards Issue 2012

                Editor’s Choice
“Two intensely lyrical, beautifully orchestrated symphonic poems brought vividly to life by Belohlávek and the orchestra whose reins he relinquishes this year... The recording is demonstration quality in both stereo and surround: these works have never sounded better.” ****
Guy Weatherall - Classical Music magazine – 22 September 2012

Recording of the Month - Music Choice
Performance *****    Recording *****
"...These are passionate and spontaneous interpretations ... excellent recording."

Jan Smaczny - BBC Music Magazine - October 2012


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