Three Pieces for String Quartet
Josef Suk (1874-1935) was born in Krecovice in southern Bohemia, then part of Austria. He studied piano, violin and organ with his father who served as village choirmaster. His exceptional talent led to his being enrolled at the Prague Conservatory in 1885 at the age of 11 where he first studied violin. Eventually, he became a composition student of Antonin Dvorak. He graduated in 1891, and kept up a friendship with Dvorak, whose daughter he married in 1898. He formed what became the world famous Bohemian Quartet with three of his fellow students . Suk played second violin with the Quartet for most of his life. From 1922, he taught at the Prague Conservatory. Among his many students were the composer Bohuslav Martinu and the pianist Rudolf Firkusny. Suk served as the Conservatory's director after 1924, on and off, until the end of his life.
The three pieces, published together here for the first time, consist of a two works, Barcarolle and Ballad written while Suk was at the Prague Conservatory. The third, Menuet, was also an early work. The Barcarolle, is the rewritten second movement an unpublished string quartet composed around 1888. The Ballad for string is one of a series of three ballads composed in 1890. One was for violin and piano, a second for Cello and Piano, and the third for string quartet. The Menuet started out life as a movement in a piano sonatna composed in 1897. Suk reused it twice more, once for a string quartet and then in a suite for piano. Some scholars believe it was intended as a small contribution to the concerts of the famous Bohemian String Quartet, of which Suk was the second violinist.
Our edition is based on the manuscripts which exist in the Prague Conservatory and the Czech Music Museum of Prague. These charming pieces can be played together as a short suite or any one can be used as an effective encore. Professionals and amateurs will find these very appealing.
Parts & Score: $31.95