A tribute to Josef Suk

When: 30.06.2017 19:30, Where: Masquerade Hall


  • Čeněk Pavlík violin
  • Marek Jerie cello
  • Ivan Klánský  piano 

Josef Suk (1874–1935)       

  • Elegy for piano, violin and cello, Op. 23

Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884)

  • Trio g moll pro klavír, housle a violoncello op. 15
  • Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15
  • I. Moderato assai
  • II. Allegro ma non agitato
  • III. Finale. Presto

Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)

  • Dumky pro klavírní trio op. 90, B 166
  • Dumky for PianoTrio, Op. 90, B 166
  • I. Lento maestoso
  • II. Poco adagio
  • III. Andante
  • IV. Andante moderato quasi tempo di marcia
  • V. Allegro
  • VI. Lento maestoso

Josef Suk (1874–1935) wrote his Elegy, Op. 23, inspired by Julius Zeyer’s epic poem Vyšehrad, in April 1902. The original version, scored for violin, cello, string quartet, harmonium and harp, was premiered on 1 June 1902 at Queen Anne’s Summer Palace at Prague Castle at a concert marking the first anniversary of the death of Julius Zeyer (1841–1901), as music for a tableau vivant based on Zeyer’s poem. Subsequently, Suk rescored the piece for piano trio, and this version was also published under the same opus number. Written more than ten years after the piano trio, the Elegy is clear evidence of Suk’s progress as a composer, featuring as it does his typical chromatic harmony.

Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884) was thirty-one when he wrote his first chamber composition: the Trio in G minor, Op. 15. There is an aura of tragedy surrounding the work, as it was written in the aftermath of a sad event in the composer’s family: on 6 September 1855, the Smetanas’ four-year-old daughter, Bedřiška, a child of prodigious musical talent, died; hence the work’s personal, painfully intimate tone. This may likewise account for the mixed critical reception of the piece’s first performance, on 3rd December of that year, with Smetana himself on the piano. In 1857, therefore, Smetana, heeding the advice of Franz Liszt, substantially reworked the score. In its definitive form, the Trio in G minor represented a milestone in the Czech music production of its time, with its modern style ranking it alongside Antonín Dvořák’s Dumky, as a staple and timeless item of the Czech chamber music repertoire.

The cycle Dumky, made up of six pieces for piano trio, written by Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) at the turn of the years 1890 and 1891, is the fruit of the composer’s mature creative period. Its character is reminiscent of the Slavonic Dances, featuring the same alternation of songlike and dance motives plentifully endowed with Dvořák’s brilliant invention, and the same delightful sonic pattern, albeit naturally in a more intimate, chamber format. Dvořák conceived the form of dumka – originally a Ukrainian folk genre – as a predominantly dreamy, contemplative, even melancholy piece. He would return to it on several other occasions, bringing it to bear in chamber and symphonic works. The Dumky, Op. 90, is one of his most straightforwardly charming compositions, in terms of melody and form alike. The work was first performed by the composer himself, with his friends Ferdinand Lachner and Hanuš Wihan, at a concert on 11 April, 1891, marking Dvořák’s receiving an honorary doctorate from Charles University. Dumky was then performed on a good many subsequent occasions in rapid succession, during Dvořák’s tour of Bohemia and Moravia prior to his departure for America.

Guarneri Trio Prague

The Guarneri Trio Prague has inspired its audiences for over a quarter of a century with an unsurpassable mix of artistic maturity and power of expression. Since its foundation in 1986, the ensemble has ranked among the leading classical piano trios. Early spectacular successes ensured the Trio the highest attention from internationally renowned music reviewers, who have hailed it as being a top-notch chamber music ensemble and duly praised the immaculate way in which the three musicians play together, its outstanding tone quality and the high standard of technical skill. The Guarneri Trio Prague performs regularly at numerous international music festivals and at major concert venues. Extensive tours have taken the trio throughout Europe and further afield, to Canada, Australia, the USA and South America, as well as Japan.  

The Guarneri Trio Prague’s recordings feature the complete piano trios of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Schubert, Mozart and Brahms. GTP releases have frequently been awarded international prizes (Diapason d’Or, Le Monde de la Musique, Choc).  

In 2016, the Guarneri Trio Prague celebrated its 30th anniversary. The ensemble still consists of the original players, which bears witness to the great quality of the musicians as people and the intensive friendship that keeps them together. The notable lightness with which they interact during their performances, coupled with the complete mastery of their repertoire, make the quality of their music a pure sonic experience. The ensemble has succeeded in enchanting demanding chamber music audiences all over the world, be it in Prague, Barcelona, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, London, Geneva or Göttingen. In the course of the past few years, the trio has managed to build up an impressive, wide-ranging repertoire that not only contains the core classical works but also manifests a determined yet meticulous exploratory spirit. The music the ensemble has performed includes pieces by the contemporary composers Luboš Fišer and Thüring Bräm, as well as Czech masters of the Viennese Classicism, such as Jan Václav Hugo Voříšek and Antonín Rejcha. 

Čeněk Pavlík plays Guarneri del Gesù’s famous 1735 “Zimbalist” violin from Luigi Tarisio’s legendary collection, while Marek Jerie plays a cello built by Andrea Guarneri in 1684.  




Hana Pelzová - director

phone: +420 721 470 558

e-mail: pelzova@komorni-festival.cz

Marek Tůma – production

phone: +420 777 243 992

e-mail: produkce@komorni-festival.cz

Alena Svobodová – PR

e-mail: ala.svobodova@seznam.cz