A sprawling monument to one man's grief
chefdevergue | Spokane, WA United States | 10/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Josef Suk had been planning to write a memorial symphoney to his father-in-law & teacher, Antonin Dvorak, after Dvorak died in 1904. However, Suk's wife (Dvorak's daughter Otylka) died 14 months later, and these two losses invested the work in progress with a new emotional energy. It took Suk until 1907 to complete his work.The "Asrael" Symphony was much different than anything Suk had written up to that point. It was longer, and certainly much more dark & intense than his other pieces, such as the well-known Serenade for Strings. Through the piece, one can hear the raging grief & despair, although ultimately it ends in a major key, signalling that ultimately one must accept the inevitability of death.This is probably Suk's most important work, and is a significant piece when one looks at the history of Czech music. Libor Pesek & the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic do an excellent job in capturing all of the intensity of the piece. This CD deserves a place in the collection of any serious music lover."