Josef Suk (1874 - 1935)

The son-in-law of Dvořák, composer and violinist Josef Suk was for long a member of the Czech Quartet. He wrote relatively little chamber music, achieving distinction rather as a composer of orchestral music.

Orchestral Music

The best known of Suk’s orchestral works is his Serenade for strings, written in 1892. Other works, written on a larger scale (in particular the symphony Asrael, in which he mourns the death of his father-in-law and his wife), represent music of greater ambition. This is also evident in his later A Summer Tale, which is motivically connected with Asrael. A Winter’s Tale is an earlier work, based on Shakespeare.

Chamber Music

Suk wrote relatively little chamber music. His Four Pieces, Op. 17 for violin and piano are a standard element in violin recital repertoire.

Piano Music

Suk also wrote for the piano, an instrument that he himself had played since childhood. These compositions are generally of a more intimate and personal nature, and they include music for his son.