Jakub Hrusa

Dvorák: Serenades; Suk: Meditation

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This 2007 Supraphon disc of serenades by Dvorák marks Jakub Hrusa as a genuine find among emerging artists. Though he was only 26 when it was recorded with the Prague Philharmonia, Hrusa's technical mastery is instantly manifest. In the String Serenade, Op. 22, Hrusa coaxes a sonorous and expressive tone from his players while keeping the music moving, even in the Larghetto. In the Wind Serenade, Op. 44, Hrusa lets the musicians have their turns as soloists, but keeps firm control over them as an ensemble -- listen to the tight tempos in the closing Allegro molto. Best of all is what might be called the bonus track: Josef Suk's Meditation on an Old Czech Hymn "St. Wenceslas," Op. 35a. With its searing melodies and ecstatic climax, Hrusa makes the best case for the work since the classic 1948 Kubelik/Czech Philharmonic recording. Anyone who values the music of Dvorák and Suk or interested in up-and-coming Czech conductors is urged to hear this disc. Supraphon's digital sound is richly detailed and wonderfully atmospheric, if a bit distant.

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