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Dvorak: Serenades; Suk / Hrusa, Prague Philharmonia


Release Date: 02/26/2008 
Label:  Supraphon   Catalog #: 3932   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonín DvorákJosef Suk
Conductor:  Jakub Hrusa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is Jakub Hruša's third Supraphon disc of Dvorák's lighter music, and it's by far the best. He captures the string serenade's lyrical flow just about perfectly, whether in the lilting waltz or the uncommonly zippy finale. In the latter, Hruša's tempo shifts between the two principal subjects are handled very naturally and allow him to enhance the music's expressive point without undue exaggeration. The orchestra also plays very well, with the basses putting a real bottom on the sound (also a benefit in the far more elegiac Suk Meditation that constitutes the program's moving encore).

In the companion work, the incomparable Czech wind tradition reveals itself as alive and well, particularly thanks to those
Read more sweet-toned oboes and fruity clarinets. In the opening march, a bit more presence from the bassoons would have been welcome, but aside from this minor point there's very little here to criticize. Hruša and his players have a great time with the syncopated rhythms in the second movement's central trio, while the long lines of the gorgeous slow movement really do sing. The "village band" episodes in the finale also have great charm, once again at an ideal tempo. Warm sonics complete this very enjoyable release.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Jakub Hrusa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Bohemia 
2. Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Jakub Hrusa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Bohemia 
3. Meditation on an old Czech hymn "St Wenceslas", Op. 35a by Josef Suk
Conductor:  Jakub Hrusa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Prague 

Featured Sound Samples

Serenade for Strings (Dvorák): I. Moderato
Serenade for Winds (Dvorák): II. Minuetto. Tempo di minuetto
Meditation on an Old Czech Hymn "St. Wenceslas" (Suk)

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