Dvořák & Suk


Gardiner: Czech Roots

Thu 24 Oct 2019 7.30pm - 9.50pm
Barbican Hall, London

DVOŘÁK Cello Concerto
SUK Symphony No 2, ‘Asrael’

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Truls Mørk cello
London Symphony Orchestra

Tickets: £57 £42 £32 £22 £16

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Part of the 2019/20 season

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Please note that finish times are approximate and subject to change

Composers pouring their most personal thoughts and feelings into their work is not unusual, but these two pieces by Dvořák and Suk feel much more deeply connected than most.

Dvořák and Suk had a very long and close relationship as father-in-law and son-in-law. Suk’s Second Symphony, ‘Asrael’, named for the Hebrew Angel of Death, was written in tribute to Dvořák after his sudden death in 1904. Tragically, Suk’s wife – Dvořák’s daughter Otilka – died shortly afterwards and the symphony contains some of the most achingly beautiful music in the whole of Suk’s output.

Similarly, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto also contains a tribute to a close relation, in this case his wife Anna’s sister Josefina, whom Dvořák had initially courted for marriage. Dvořák wove the melody of his song ‘Leave me alone’, of which Josefina was particularly fond, into the second movement. The work was the envy of Brahms, who reputedly said, ‘If I had known that it was possible to write a cello concerto like this, I would have tried it as well!’