• Josef Suk began writing his Asrael Symphony in 1904 as a memorial to his revered teacher Antonin Dvorak, who had recently died. He had completed the first three movements when, in 1905, his young wife Otylka – the daughter of Dvorak – also passed away. Devastated, the composer turned the work into a requiem for the two, completing it in 1906. He gave it the subtitle Asrael, the angel of death, who in the Islamic faith leads the souls of the departed to paradise.
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