Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:56:54 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Josef Suk – Fairy Tale; Serenade for Strings (Belohlavek) [1992] Josef Suk – Fairy Tale; Serenade for Strings (Belohlavek) [1992]

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Pohádka (Fairy Tale) Op.16:
1. About The Constant Love Of Raduz And Mahulena And Their Trials
2. Intermezzo. Playing At Swans And Peacocks
3. Intermezzo. Funeral Music
4. Runa's Curse And How It Was Broken By True Love

Serenade for strings in E flat major, op.6:
5. I. Andante Con Moto
6. II. Allegro, Ma Non Troppo E Grazioso
7. III. Adagio - Piu Andante - Tempo I
8. IV. Allegro Giocoso, Ma Non Troppo Presto

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Jiří Bělohlávek – conductor


Josef Suk, son-in-law of Dvořák and grandfather of the famous Czech violinist of the same name, had a moody artistic disposition. Dvořák was just the opposite--a generally cheerful and pleasant man, and one day he told his prize pupil to lighten up a bit a write something cheerful. The Serenade was the result, an obvious tribute to Dvořák, whose own Serenade for Strings remains one of his most popular and charming creations. The lineage is clear: if you like the Dvořák Serenade, than you simply must have this equally attractive sequel. The Fairy Tail is a vivacious and melodic suite that fully lives up to its name. Here's a record for fans of Czech music looking for something pleasantly different. ---David Hurwitz,


This disc, well recorded in 1992, features two early works by Josef Suk. The Serenade is the better known but the Fairy Tale suite is a most attractive piece, somewhat more embedded into the romantic styles current at that time - Richard Strauss for example. The music is not so involved dramatically or orchestrally and has a generally lighter touch. Dvorak was Suk's father-in law at the time of the Fairy Tale and Suk was his favourite pupil at the time of the Serenade. Dvorak was enthusiastic about both works and with good reason.

The Fairy Tale suite is in four movements and was originally written as incidental music for a stage play. However, as Suk became more and more involved with the plot, the music eventually outgrew the play and was later re-arranged to form this separate suite where each movement is like a mini tone poem. This is a very persuasive performance by an orchestra and conductor deeply sympathetic to the Czech idiom and the performance carries considerable conviction.

Much the same can be said of the playing in the Serenade. This is a lighter work and is often paired with the Dvorak string Serenade which may well have been Suk's model. It follows Dvorak's advice to apply himself more to major keys rather than the minor keys which Suk had previously favoured. This resulted in a predominately happy work which has been Suk's most popular work ever since.

Suk's finest work, the Asrael symphony, is a much more serious work and was written following the death of both Dvorak and then Suk's wife, Dvorak's daughter, both at an early age and within a year of each other. None of that experience touches either of the works on this disc which provide an altogether happier listening experience.

In conclusion I would suggest that if this program appeals, then this disc deserves to be seriously considered for purchase as it is a very fine effort indeed by all concerned.--- I. Giles,

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]]> (bluesever) Suk Josef Thu, 02 Feb 2017 16:23:07 +0000
Josef Suk: Piano Quintet - Piano Quartet (2003) Josef Suk: Piano Quintet - Piano Quartet (2003)

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1. Piano Quartet in A minor Op. 1, I - Allegro Appassionato
2. Piano Quartet in A minor Op. 1, II - Adagio
3. Piano Quartet in A minor Op. 1, III - Allegro con Fuoco
4. Four pieces, Op. 17, I - Quasi Ballata
5. Four pieces, Op. 17, II - Appassionato play
6. Four pieces, Op. 17, III - Un poco triste
7. Four pieces, Op. 17, IV - Burlesca
8. Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 8, I - Allegro energico
9. Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 8, II - Adagio: Religioso
10. Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 8, III - Scherzo: Presto play
11. Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 8, IV - Allegro fuoco

The Nash Ensemble Marianne Thorsen (violin I) Benjamin Nabarro (violin II) Lawrence Power (viola) Paul Watkins (cello) Ian Brown (piano) 30 November & 1–2 December 2003, Henry Wood Hall, London


The music of Josef Suk, pupil of Dvorák and married to the elder composer’s daughter, is only now beginning to be recognized for its true worth. Presented here are three relatively early works, brimming with youthful enthusiasm but already showing considerable individuality, a highly developed approach to structure, and, occasionally, a touch of the melancholy introspection which was to inform many of the composer’s later works. A talented violinist, Suk lends to his chamber compositions a true understanding of the genre, while his thoroughly ‘Czech’ musical upbringing ensures strong representation for the folk and dance influences to be found in the music of many of his contemporaries. --Hyperion

In his later maturity, Suk’s muse was most often stirred by the prospect of a large orchestral canvas or music for piano. In his early years, however, when developing his own, ultimately highly distinctive style, the medium of choice was chamber music. His very first opus was a Piano Quartet, dedicated to his teacher and future father-in-law, Dvopák. It’s a characterful work with clear anticipations of Suk’s mature style, notably in the nocturne-like slow movement. Composed shortly after the Quartet, the Piano Quintet shows the extent to which his personal voice had crystallised in a matter of a couple of years, with the slow movement once again showing the true depths of which Suk was capable, even at this early stage. All of the performances on this excellently recorded disc are exemplary. The Nash Ensemble has long had a dedication to Czech music and the players’ innate understanding of the characteristic dynamics of its chamber repertoire pay huge dividends in the Piano Quartet and the at times curiously Impressionist Four Pieces for violin and piano. Still more impressive is their superb ensemble playing throughout the Piano Quintet, and it reaches the heights of eloquence in magnificent readings of the scherzo and finale. --BBC Music Magazine

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