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Romance - Josef Suk / Neumann, Smetacek, Czech PO, Prague SO


Release Date: 09/29/2009 
Label:  Supraphon   Catalog #: 4000   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonín DvorákLudwig van BeethovenJohan SvendsenZdenék Fibich,   ... 
Performer:  Josef Suk
Conductor:  Václav NeumannVácláv Smetácek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic OrchestraPrague Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A measured and affectionate tribute.

Josef Suk was 80 in 2009 and this disc - one of gentle, unabrasive and charming felicity - is a small tribute to him from his record company of so many years. The bulk of the pieces were taped in 1977 with the Prague Symphony Orchestra and Václav Smetá?ek. Of the others the Dvo?ák Romance is not to be confused with Suk’s famed meeting with An?erl - this one is a later recording in 1978 with Neumann. One of the pieces, the First Beethoven Romance, derives from a 1970 session.

This compilation has been selected then for its dappled restraint. It moves as slowly as a river boat down a becalmed Vltava. For fireworks you will have to go elsewhere; for
Read more autumnal pleasures you can certainly join in, though consecutive listening, even when played by a master such as Suk, is probably best avoided in case ennui sets in.

The Dvo?ák Romance was taped when he was 49 and is played with his usual ineffable sweetness and lyrical reserve - there’s just the right weight of bow pressure, and just the right sense of line. Nothing is over-inflated or over-vibrated. The wind choir too generates its own special momentum and in front Suk plays with pliant rubato and lovely tone. He plays the G major Beethoven with gentility and humanity and its companion, which he takes in a very stately way, is also refined. Fiddlers of yore had Svendsen’s Romance in their knapsacks and fortunately it seems to be coming back into fashion. It has the verdant Grieg-like freshness - they were contemporaries, Grieg slightly the younger in fact - that always proves efficacious. Suk honours its dance patterns adeptly, as he does the gentle pathos implicit, though as always with Suk he deigns to plumb ostentatious depths.

He is on home turf with Fibich’s little Romance, probably the least well known of the eight pieces here. Note how affectionately Suk plays the speech inflected melodic lines, and how he hints at the folkloric element embedded within, all the while ensuring ballast and buoyancy to the solo line. His Tchaikovsky is again somewhat under-stated. His refinement is of the ‘less is more’ school and it serves as a reminder of his eloquence of utterance. The Wieniawski has been extracted from the D minor Concerto and is replete with patrician gestures, and the Berlioz R êverie et Caprice makes for a fine envoi - the rapport with Smetá?ek is solid to the last.

For admirers of Suk, this measured and affectionate tribute reissue is pleasing, the booklet attractive, and the spirit that animates the production laudable.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International 
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Works on This Recording

1.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F minor, Op. 11/B 39 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Josef Suk (Violin)
Conductor:  Václav Neumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1877; Bohemia 
Length: 13 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Notes: Engineer: Miloslav Kulhan. 
2.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra no 1 in G major, Op. 40 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Josef Suk (Violin)
Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 7 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Engineer: Václav Zmazal. 
3.
Romance in G major for violin and orchestra, Op. 26 by Johan Svendsen
Performer:  Josef Suk (Violin)
Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Norway 
Length: 7 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: Engineer: Miloslav Kulhan. 
4.
Romance for Violin and Piano in B flat major, Op. 10 by Zdenék Fibich
Performer:  Josef Suk (Violin)
Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Bohemia 
Length: 5 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Notes: Engineer: Miloslav Kulhan. 
5.
Sérénade mélancolique for Violin and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 26 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Josef Suk (Violin)
Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Russia 
Length: 9 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: Engineer: Miloslav Kulhan. 
6.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra no 2 in F major, Op. 50 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Josef Suk (Violin)
Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1798; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 9 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Engineer: Miloslav Kulhan. 
7.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in D minor, Op. 22: 2nd movement, Romance by Henri Wieniawski
Performer:  Josef Suk (Violin)
Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862; St. Petersburg, Russ 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: Engineer: Miloslav Kulhan. 
8.
Ręverie et caprice for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 8 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Josef Suk (Violin)
Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; France 
Length: 8 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: Engineer: Miloslav Kulhan. 

Featured Sound Samples

Romance for Violin and Orchestra (Dvorák)
Romance for Violin and Orchestra (Svendsen)

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