Author Topic: Josef Suk 1875-1935  (Read 40201 times)

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Offline kyjo

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Re: Josef Suk 1875-1935
« Reply #100 on: August 20, 2019, 12:00:13 PM »
I randomly decided to go for a Naxos CD with Suk's Serenade for Strings (alongside Dvorak's). Haven't heard the Dvorak yet, but the Suk is great. Lush, Czech late Romanticism. It seems he would later gain acclaim for writing dark music. I can't say that this one is particularly dark, but it is definitely harmonically interesting at times. I want to hear his Asrael symphony.

Indeed, the Serenade for Strings is a real beauty! You’ll also want to check out his 1st Symphony in E major and Fantastic Scherzo, two greatly life-affirming works also from his early period. Suk’s style underwent a sharp change around 1904-05, when both his teacher Dvorak and his wife Otilie died in quick succession. His music became much more dark and psychological in contrast to his sunny, melodic earlier works.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline jidlomonster

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Re: Josef Suk 1875-1935
« Reply #101 on: September 25, 2021, 02:01:48 AM »
I find that I love almost all of Suk's output (that I know) up to and including Asrael, but find most of his later music elusive and surprisingly unattractive.   But I'd like to add to the list of recommendations in the previous posts.  The G minor Fantasy for violin and orchestra is a wonderful work, and the suites 'Under the Apple Tree' and 'Fairytale' are irresistible too.  One of his best works is the symphonic poem 'Prague' - it uses a theme similar to the 'God's Warriors' chorale familiar from Smetana's 'Má vlast' - a theme that he constnatly transforms throughout the work with great skill and imagination.  On a smaller scale, the Four Pieces for violin and piano are also well worth investigating.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Josef Suk 1875-1935
« Reply #102 on: September 25, 2021, 02:15:28 AM »
A favorite Suk set/CDs of mine which I don't believe have been mentioned here before now

There's a lovely 3-CD set on Supraphon of his chamber works (also available separately):




PD
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 12:16:05 AM by Pohjolas Daughter »

Offline Scion7

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Re: Josef Suk 1875-1935
« Reply #103 on: September 25, 2021, 05:58:35 AM »
^ Excellent stuff, PD.  He was a very good composer and grandson is a great violinist.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline kyjo

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Re: Josef Suk 1875-1935
« Reply #104 on: September 29, 2021, 04:24:10 AM »
I find that I love almost all of Suk's output (that I know) up to and including Asrael, but find most of his later music elusive and surprisingly unattractive.   But I'd like to add to the list of recommendations in the previous posts.  The G minor Fantasy for violin and orchestra is a wonderful work, and the suites 'Under the Apple Tree' and 'Fairytale' are irresistible too.  One of his best works is the symphonic poem 'Prague' - it uses a theme similar to the 'God's Warriors' chorale familiar from Smetana's 'Má vlast' - a theme that he constnatly transforms throughout the work with great skill and imagination.  On a smaller scale, the Four Pieces for violin and piano are also well worth investigating.

I generally agree with you. Among his later works, I recall enjoying Ripening pretty well, but I struggled a bit with A Summer Tale, which some consider a masterpiece - I’ll have to revisit it soon. But yes, I love all the earlier works you mention, along with of course the magical Fantastic Scherzo, the warm-hearted Serenade for Strings, the wonderfully life-enhancing 1st Symphony in E major, the astonishingly precocious Piano Quartet op. 1, the slightly more complex but still very attractive Piano Quintet, and the wonderfully contrasting Ballad and Serenade for cello and piano. To me, these works represent a wonderful continuation of the Czech Romantic tradition of his teacher, Dvorak.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Josef Suk 1875-1935
« Reply #105 on: October 15, 2021, 03:59:54 AM »
When you sign up to the free Naxos Newsletter you get sent 2 free [FLAC or MP3] download links each month.  This month is a nailed-on gem;



Given that Ancerl never made a studio recording of Asrael this is of especial importance and very fine indeed by any standard.  Inspired playing by the Sudwestorcester Baden-Baden and better than decent sound.  A must-hear for anyone who admires the work - and its free!

https://benefits.naxos.com/Gift/Redeem/G.a34f3729d08148cc9aeb836ad3f53f1b

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Josef Suk 1875-1935
« Reply #106 on: October 15, 2021, 05:19:41 AM »
When you sign up to the free Naxos Newsletter you get sent 2 free [FLAC or MP3] download links each month.  This month is a nailed-on gem;



Given that Ancerl never made a studio recording of Asrael this is of especial importance and very fine indeed by any standard.  Inspired playing by the Sudwestorcester Baden-Baden and better than decent sound.  A must-hear for anyone who admires the work - and its free!

https://benefits.naxos.com/Gift/Redeem/G.a34f3729d08148cc9aeb836ad3f53f1b
Cool!  Thanks for telling us about this!

PD