JOSEF SUK (1874-1935): Moods, Op. 10, Dumka, Op. 21/3, Things Lived and Dreamed, Op. 30, Love Song.

Catalogue Number: 08S032

Label: MD&G

Reference: 903 1956-6

Format: SACD hybrid

Price: $19.98

Description: Shamefully neglected music: there’s a 14-year-old Naxos recording of Moods but only the 42-year-old Supraphon recording by Pavel Štepán of Things Lived and Dreamed (or as that disc translates it, Life and Dream). The former comes from Suk’s early 20s, a five-movement cycle opening with a Russian-tinged Legend and closing with a Springtime Idyll which points toward the composer’s later tone poems of the awakening and blossoming of nature, with three character pieces in between. The longer, ten-piece Things Lived is from 1909 and the same period as his orchestral works A Summer’s Tale and Ripening; its short, faster pieces suggest human and animal life in nature and these are punctuated by three big adagios, one untitled and the others “On my son’s recovery” and “The forgotten graves in the corner of the Krečovice cemetary” which are powerful expressions of deep emotion - a cycle which really ought to be much better-known. Karl-Andreas Kolly (piano).

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