Antonín Dvořák’s joyous Te Deum contrasts with Josef Suk’s haunting Asrael Symphony

Bamberger Symphoniker
Jakub Hrůša Conductor

Edinburgh Festival Chorus
James Grossmith Chorus Director

TBC Soprano
TBC Bass

Dvořák Te Deum*
Suk Asrael

For their final International Festival concert, Jakub Hrůša and the Bamberger Symphoniker pair a late masterpiece by Antonín Dvořák with his son-in-law Josef Suk’s most ambitious orchestral work.

Dvořák wrote his Te Deum in 1892 during his time teaching in America, an experience that also inspired his ‘New World’ Symphony. It is a joyous affirmation of his Catholic faith, with exuberant choruses, lyrical solos for soprano and bass, and more than a hint of the folk music of the composer’s native Bohemia. For this rendition, the Bamberger Symphoniker is joined by the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.

Named after the angel of death, Suk’s soul-searching Asrael Symphony (1906) commemorates both Dvořák and his daughter Otilie, Suk’s wife. Across its five movements, Asrael Symphony depicts a journey from anguish to transcendent hope. It includes a dramatic ‘dance of death’, a tender portrait of Otilie and a concluding radiant vision of eternity.