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Josef Suk. Letters on his life and his music

By Josef Suk

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Josef Suk. Letters on his life and his music composed by Josef Suk (1874-1935). Edited by Jana Vojteskova. Czech title: Josef Suk. Dopisy o zivote hudebnim i lidskem. Book. Published by Editio Baerenreiter Praha (PA.H7956).

ISBN 9788086385310. 20.8 x 13 cm inches.

This unique collection of letters Josef Suk wrote to his friends, members of his family, colleagues and publishers, including some of their responses (412 items of correspondence in total) gives an integral picture of this distinguished Czech composer from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For the first time, readers are given an insight into both the professional world of this artist - member of the world famous Czech Quartet with whom Suk undertook a series of international concert tours, and into a composer who, for most of his life, was only able to concentrate on writing music in his rare free moments during the summer months. A still relatively little known issue is also uncovered here, namely the period of offensive and unjust attacks against him in periodicals and magazines by Z. Nejedly and his circle of supporters, which repeatedly brought about Suk's nervous breakdown. Helping to give a clearer picture about musical education at the turn of the century are letters concerning his teaching and appointment as rector at the Prague Conservatoire. Suk's inward nature and profound sensitivity, so apparent in his music, are underlined particularly in his letters to his son Pepa, or those to his friends written after the premature death of his wife Otilka. The book contains detailed notes, a survey of Suk's life in dates, a list of his works and brief biographies of the people mentioned in the correspondence, plus a list of the letters with sources. The book was published in Czech with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.