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Josef Suk: Ripening; Symphony No. 1

Suk / Belohlavek / Bbc So / Weeks / Colman
Release Date: 09/28/2010 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5081   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Josef Suk
Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony OrchestraNew London Chamber Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Ripening, the successor to the Asrael Symphony and A Summer Tale, is a voluptuous late-Romantic extravaganza, and it's very well performed here. Jirí Belohlávek often seems a trifle soft-edged, but here he galvanizes his large forces and produces an interpretation full of conviction. The textures are very intricate, the individual parts challenging. There are a few points, such as the solos for trumpet, or the big fugue about two-thirds of the way through, where you might miss the rhythmic bite and bright sonorities of the Czech Philharmonic, but otherwise there's very little to carp at.

The performance of the symphony is even finer: this is hands down the best version currently available. Most others sound tame
Read more in comparison. The first movement finally has the energy that until now has remained largely latent, its rhythmic vigor exploited to the full. The fact is, Belohlávek knocks a good six or seven minutes off of the work's typical timing, and it's all to the good. Also, in this stylistically simpler, Dvorák-influenced piece, the orchestra sounds at its very best. The SACD sound is really excellent--warm, spacious, and detailed. After a very tepid Asrael for this same label, it's good to hear everyone back in top form.

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

1. Ripening, Op. 34 by Josef Suk
Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  New London Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1917; Prague, Czech Republ 
Venue:  Watford Colosseum 
Length: 8 Minutes 20 Secs. 
2. Symphony no 1 in E major, Op. 14 by Josef Suk
Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897-1899; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 04/29/2010 
Venue:  Watford Colosseum 
Length: 11 Minutes 30 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Zrani (Ripening), Op. 34: I. Adagio, quasi andante
Zrani (Ripening), Op. 34: II. Poco allegro inquieto e poco rubato
Zrani (Ripening), Op. 34: III. Adagio
Zrani (Ripening), Op. 34: IV. Piu tranquillo
Zrani (Ripening), Op. 34: V. Allegro (l'istesso tempo)
Zrani (Ripening), Op. 34: VI. A tempo (Tempo di Fuga)
Zrani (Ripening), Op. 34: VII. Adagio e sempre tranquillo
Symphony in E major, Op. 14: I. Allegro, ma non troppo
Symphony in E major, Op. 14: II. Adagio - Pochettino piu mosso - Molto appassionato - Tempo I
Symphony in E major, Op. 14: III. Allegro vivace - Poco meno mosso - Tempo I
Symphony in E major, Op. 14: IV. Allegro

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