Humoresque for Violin & Piano, Op.17 No.2
Jaroslav Kocian (1883-1950) was born in Wildenschert then a Bohemian town within the Austrian Habsburg Empire (now Ústí nad Orlicíc in the Czech Republic). After studying violin with his father, he entered the Prague Conservatory where he studied the violin with the famed teacher Otakar Sevcik and composition with Antonin Dvorak. He enjoyed a career as a soloist as well as himself eventually serving as a Professor of Violin and then Director of the Prague Conservatory. Among his many students were violinists Josef Suk (great grandson of Dvorak and grandson of the composer by the same name) and Vaclav Snitil.
The Humoresque was the second of a series of short works for violin and piano and dates from around 1905. It was dedicated to an American admirer, Mrs. C. Lawrence Lavretta, herself an amateur violinist. While it is not a virtuoso work, she would certainly have had to have been of quite good standard to play this charming piece which makes a superb light-hearted encore.