The Bohemian composer Josef Suk (1874-1935) - believe it or not - played over 4.000 concerts in over 40 years as a member of České kvarteto, the Czech Quartet. As a young composer he became a protégé of Dvořák and Brahms, and it was even expected that he might become the next Smetana, a celebrated national composer.
His own ambitions, however, were seemingly elsewhere. Judging by his oeuvre, it seems that it was first and foremost the music as an art form that inspired him to compose. Impervious to popular critics, he set out to develop a harmonic language of his own, very much following a fin de siécle sentiment prevalent in other parts of Europe. Hence it doesn’t come as surprise that people like Arnold Schoenberg traveled several times to Prague just to hear performances of Suk’s works (as noted in the 1946 published anthology "Živá slova Josefa Suka," "Living Words of Josef Suk" by Jan Miroslav Květ).
Thanks to a generous stipend by the German organisation "GVL," I was able to record Josef Suk’s piano cycle "Things Lived And Dreamt," op. 30. During 10 consecutive weeks the individual works will be released here, in the hope that this will contribute to a wider discovery of this valuable collection of pieces in the history of art music.