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February 08, 2011

Josef Suk: Asrael Symphony (Op. 27)

Josef Suk's "coming to terms" piece concerning the deaths of his father in law Antonin Dvorak and a year later that of his wife Otilka here in a live performance by the National Orchestra of Belgium under chief conductor Walter Weller. I'll let Musicweb's Paul Serotsky describe the piece in more detail now:

Part I: 1. Andante sostenuto concerns the struggle between Life and Death. Asrael, a threatening shadow, observes the rich vitality of Life. Unfurling his leathery wings, he swoops in search of prey. His cold hand touches his chosen victim, and Life fights back...

Part I: 1. Andante sostenuto (continued fom the first segment). Realising (once more) that the conclusion is foregone, Life commits all its energies to a desperate struggle. But the strength that Life expends is the soul that Asrael gains, relentlessly sucked out of this world into the next.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 8, 2011 06:21 AM