Czech Philharmonic / Sheku Kanneh-Mason / Jakub Hrůša

Dvořák: Cello Concerto / Suk: »Asrael« Symphony – Elbphilharmonie Summer

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Sheku Kanneh-Mason © Ollie Ali
Jakub Hrůša
Jakub Hrůša © Ian Ehm

Tschechisches Triumvirat

Following a brilliant Elbphilharmonie debut in 2019 with »his« Bamberg Symphony, conductor Jakub Hrůša has become a popular regular visitor to the Elbphilharmonie. From his Czech homeland, he not only brings undoubtedly its best orchestra, but also provides a wonderful programme. This evening’s soloist is the young talented star Sheku Kanneh-Mason performing an all-time favourite cello concerto.

Dvořák’s Cello Concerto is one of the most frequently performed cello concertos of all, although Dvořák apparently considered the instrument no more than »a piece of wood that screeches at the top and drones at the bottom«. Yet, the composer must have secretly loved the cello because this composition is captivating with enchanting songlike melodies, great dramatic progressions and delicately lyrical passages. This evening’s soloist is 24-year-old British rising star Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician award. This piece with its virtuoso leaps and technical intricacies offers him many possibilities to demonstrate the qualities of this instrument.

Josef Suk’s composition of his »Asrael« Symphony was characterised by two strokes of fate: firstly, he wanted to dedicate it to his recently deceased teacher and mentor Dvořák, at a time when Dvořák’s daughter and Suk’s wife also died very young and unexpectedly. »Such a misfortune either destroys a person or brings all the dormant forces within him to the surface. The music saved me!« writes Suk, who dedicated the »Asrael« Symphony to both deceased. It is named after the archangel who, in Islam, guides the souls of the dead to paradise. It is a work of magnificent beauty; despair and grief meet poetically transfiguring memory. Funeral March, Dance of Death, tender portrait of his wife – the music is so emotionally powerful that one wonders why Suk has not (yet) achieved the popularity of his contemporary Gustav Mahler or his father-in-law!


Tschechische Philharmonie

Sheku Kanneh-Mason violoncello

conductor Jakub Hrůša


Antonín Dvořák
Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 104

– Interval –

Josef Suk
Symphony in C minor, Op. 27 »Asrael«

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Elbphilharmonie Summer

Promoter: HamburgMusik

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