- Symphony in C minor, Op. 27 ("Asrael")
Josef Suk: Asraelby Vladimir Ashkenazy
Along with the increasing frequency that Josef Suk's "Symphony in C minor, Op. 27, Asrael," is performed and recorded, it's great to see it has finally been released as a hybrid SACD. Though the legendary 1952 recording by Vaclav Talich remains the ne plus ultra for devotees of this searing symphonic requiem, it was recorded in mono, and by virtue of its technology has become a historical document that will be sought out mostly by aficionados. Newcomers to Suk's towering work will be aided in appreciation by the fact that Ondine's DSD recording is as clear and deep as always, and none of the details of the elaborate score are lost. Whether Vladimir Ashkenazy's 2008 interpretation seems as hard-earned and profound as Talich's is another matter, for the two conductors' approaches are different: Talich was steeped in the Czech tradition, while Ashkenazy has always been more cosmopolitan in outlook, so there are clear differences in phrasing, rhythmic emphasis, orchestral sonority, as well as nuances of expression. Yet Ashkenazy's performance with the brilliant Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra is just as potent and passionate: from the catastrophic climax of the first movement through the tragic beauty of the two slow movements and the sardonic Scherzo, to the beatific closing of the Finale, this "Asrael" is quite compelling and convincing, and it is a worthy successor to the acclaimed rendition by Talich and the lesser versions of other Czech contenders. Highly recommended.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsVladimir Ashkenazy Primary Artist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews