Josef Suk

Dvorák: Violin Concerto; Suk: Fantasy

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Possessing an impressive pedigree, Czech violinist Suk is the grandson of composer and namesake Josef Suk and great-grandson of Antonín Dvorák. While the legacy his forbears imparted on his playing is clear, the younger Suk does not rest on his laurels. He quickly rose to prominence in his own country and abroad and has established himself as one of the preeminent Czech violinists in the last century. Many of his recordings have been the subject of numerous reissues. Such is the case with this 2011 Supraphon disc in his 1978 recordings of the Dvorák Violin Concerto and Romance in F minor, and the Suk Op. 24 G minor Fantasy and Op. 16 Fairy Tale. Suk's playing is not technically flawless; there are pitches that aren't quite centered, chords that aren't fully resonant, and shifts that don't quite make it to their destination. These small and infrequent blemishes do little to detract from Suk's command of his instrument's warm, vibrant tone. Nor do they take away from his synthesis of passionate Romanticism and knowledgeable execution of the folk idioms that informed the composition of both the elder Suk and Dvorák. Suk is accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Václav Neumann, with whom he had a long-standing and successful history of collaboration. Neumann's orchestra matches the moods and colors of Suk throughout, providing vivid, full tuttis while dropping quickly to the background when the soloist enters.

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