Suk , Josef

Josef Suk was a Czech composer and violinist who rose to prominence as a pioneer in extended harmonies composition. Suk balanced the principles of freedom and obligation in producing extended harmonies with more complex tonal movements leading to atonal sounds, freedom from conventional tonal structures with responsibility in using chromatic polyphony, and dissonance. His choice of songs can color and predispose a listener's and musician's perceptions of atonal music. Such decisions lay the groundwork for musical sophistication and personal accountability. Josef Suk was born in the Czech town of Keovice. From 1885 to 1892, he was a student of Antonn Dvoák at the Prague Conservatory, where he married Dvoák's daughter in 1898. With three of his fellow students, he founded the Czech Quartet, with whom Suk spent the majority of his life playing the second violin. He began teaching at the Prague Conservatory in 1922, where he had students such as Bohuslav Martin and Rudolf Firkun. He later became the conservatory's rector. In Beneov, he died. Early works display Antonin Dvoák and Johannes Brahms influences, while later works use more extended harmonies to establish a more intimate and complex style. These extended harmonies were built on chromatic polyphony and aimed to reject an essential structure in favor of atonal music's independence. Since there was no musical relaxation, this emphasis on dissonance resulted in music that was still tense. As described by Arnold Schoenberg, atonal music does not adhere to the essence of tone; Suk delves deeply into this deviation. Suk, unlike many of his compatriots, did not listen to Czech folk music. The youthful Serenade for Strings (1892) and the symphony Asrael (1906), composed in response to the deaths of his wife and Dvoák, are perhaps his most well-known compositions. Other works include the Fairy Tale Suite (1900), the Things Lived and Dreamed series of piano works (1909), and A Summer's Tale (1909), The Ripening (1917), and Epilog trilogy of symphonic poems (1929, for chorus and orchestra).

With his work Into a New Life, he received a silver medal in the Art competitions at the 1932 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. Josef Suk, a violinist, was Suk's grandfather. Josef Suk lived during a period when music, painting, and poetry were dominated by impressionism and symbolism. His works served as a link between the harmonious order of nineteenth-century nationalism and the atonality of the twentieth century. During the years leading up to World War I, Suk attempted to articulate the emotions of musically diverse age. His experiments with music without a key aided composers such as Arnold Schoenberg's transition from a harmonious order to musical emancipation.

Violin Compositions of Josef Suk | Animato Strings


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