Personalities | Josef Suk | Late Romantic | Classical
(Yo’-sef Sook) 1874–1935
Czech violinist and composer
Suk was second violinist with the Czech String Quartet from 1892 to 1922, then became a professor at the Prague Academy where, in 1892, he had been a favourite student of Dvořák. He later married Dvořák’s daughter, Otilie, and his love for her inspired many works, such as the Fantasy for violin and orchestra. Suk’s grief at the loss of both Dvořák and Otilie in 1904–05 was expressed in his best-known work, the Asrael Symphony (1906). Otilie is also the subject of the evocative piano suite About Mother, part of a substantial piano output. Though his early influence was Dvořák, his later atonality anticipates the Czech modernism of his pupil Martinu.
Recommended Recording: Asrael Symphony, Fairy Tale, Serenade for Strings, Czech PO (cond) Jiří Bělohlávek (Chandos)
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