Josef Suk 150

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.

Op. 30 No. 1

Allegretto moderato: with humour and hyperbole, in places annoyed

Op. 30 No. 2

Allegro vivo: restless and shy, without very strong expression

Op. 30 No. 3

Andante sostenuto: mysterious and very airy

Op. 30 No. 4

Poco allegretto: contemplative, later increasingly aggressive

Op. 30 No. 5

On the Recovery of my Son. Adagio - calm, with deep feeling

Op. 30 No. 6

Moderato quasi allegretto. With quiet, carefree cheer. Yearning and dreamy

Op. 30 No. 7

Simple, later with crushing power. Adagio non tanto

Op. 30 No. 8

Vivace. Gently, Chirpingly

Op. 30 No. 9

Whispering and mysterious

Op. 30 No. 10

To the forgotten graves in the corner of the Krecovic