Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Friday Phonograph

A Musical Czech Mate?
Josef Suk "no. 4b Little Idylls no. 2."

by Anne French

This Friday's pick is a short work by little known Czech composer, Josef Suk (4 January 1874 - 29 May 1935): no. 4b Little Idylls no. 2 from the "Six Pieces for Piano Op. 7." Suk was the grandfather of famed violinist Josef Suk, and he has been called the "missing link" between Antonin Dvorák (who was his father-in-law) and composer Leos Jánacek. Unfortunately his works are rarely heard outside his native land, where he is considered among the greatest composers of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. His great Poetic Symphony, Azraël, ranks among the most fascinating orchestral works of that time. Other notable compositions include the Fairy Tale Suite (1900); the piano works cycle, Things Lived and Dreamed (1909); and the trilogy of symphonic poems , "A Summer's Tale" (1909). I have chosen this rather melancholy and hauntingly beautiful piano solo played by Margaret Fingerhut.


Rodney Punt said...

Anne, what a gem! And thanks for the informative intro on the musical lineage!

Anne French said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Rod!