Every artistic work reflects the spiritual life of its maker in some way; sometimes this is very evident, other times less so. It is striking in the case of Josef Suk (1874–1935). His life developed happily: by the age of 30, Suk was long established as a composer, performed often and published at home and abroad; as second violinist of the Czech Quartet he concertised throughout Europe. He liked to return home to his family, whose background he loved as much as did his father-in-law, Antonín Dvořák. News of Dvořák’s death, which he received in Madrid when on tour, was therefore a particularly cruel blow. Still on that tour, he started to conceive a large mourning symphony. Less than a year after Dvořák’s burial, whilst working on the fourth movement Adagio, his wife, Otylka, died – and Suk’s idyllic domestic world collapsed. He said, “Such a fate either destroys a man or brings to the surface everything strong that was dormant in him. It seemed that the former would happen to me, but music saved me…” He started an entirely new Adagio and then was able to write a Finale that appraises all that happened in the symphony; as the music abates, Asrael flies off as a friend…
LEOŠ JANÁČEK Adagio
GUSTAV MAHLER Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
JOSEF SUK Symphony in C minor “Asrael”
Roman Hoza baritone
conductor Robert Kružík
Concert program to be downloaded here.
Cast of the orchestra to be downloaded here.