Magazine article Gramophone

Suchon: Metamorphoses

Magazine article Gramophone

Suchon: Metamorphoses

Article excerpt

Suchon

Metamorphoses. Balladic Suite, Op 9. Symfonietta rustica Estonian National Symphony Orchestra / Neeme Jarvi Chandos (F) CHAN10849 (64' * ODD)

Eugen Suchon's early Balladic Suite (1935) here receives its third recording that I can trace, curiously as it is the weakest of the three scores gathered so attractively here. 'Powerfully atmospheric and moving though it is--and excellently composed', according to Deryck Cooke's assessment of it back in 1961 (with which I concur), Suchon still lay in Novak's shadow, and his best works were yet to come.

The two couplings are two of 'his best', dating from the 1950s and revealing him in full maturity, not least in his enchanting command of orchestration. This is heard to maximum advantage in the opening (and longest) work, Metamorphoses (1953), a vibrant orchestral concerto vividly scored, leaping off the page the way its ponderous subtitle ('Variations on Original Themes in the Form of a Suite for Orchestra') does not. Suchon's Slovak heritage is attractively displayed in five movements of increasing power and complexity. Jarvi's account with the superlative Estonian National Symphony Orchestra fair fizzes with excitement, outpacing Kosler's older Slovak rival (which, by the by, still sounds very well) by almost five minutes; the Estonians are fleeter and more sure-fingered than either rival orchestra in the Balladic Suite, too. …

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