Echo Pražského jara 2012 Díl 1.

Uploaded by PragueSpringFestival on 18.05.2012

Czech Television presents
Echo of the Prague Spring 2012
Part 1.
Welcome to the first of the 10 Echos of the Prague Spring
that will provide you with up-to-date news from the Prague Spring Festival 2012.
Today's Echo is exceptional in both its content and length.
We are dedicating it to an artist who's number of performances on stage during his long career is fascinating
and who left behind him a no less stunning number of recordings.
Thanks to his colleagues and his friends, we will remember an artist
who became famous for his beautiful and unique violin tone
and who was a highly respectable successor of a famous dynasty of musicians.
Maestro Josef Suk.
I have a wish for you as your teacher.
Follow the legacy of your grand-grandfather, the famous Antonín Dvořák,
And your grandfather, Maestro Josef Suk.
It was during a concert in the Rudolfinum hall,
he was there as a member of the conservatory surrounded by schoolmates.
Someone introduced him to me. I was already an independent lady at that time, a clerk.
MARIE SUKOVÁ, Josef Suk's wife
I was older than he was and we understood each other very well from the beginning.
We started to visit each other after that. We talked a lot about music and thus it began.
It was in the time when he was finishing the conservatory
and at that time Jaroslav Kocian died, his dear and beloved teacher.
He was profoundly sad because of it.
This is a beautiful corner. Here he is, Jaroslav Kocian.
Because we had met and I had a taste for music and we understood each other,
we listened to records together, we pursued his interest,
Thanks to that, I think I saved him in a way, or I gave him desire to continue playing.
He was in the midst of a crisis at that time.
When I studied viola at the Kroměříž conservatory at that time,
we went to one of the concerts of the Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc.
It was there where I first saw Maestro Josef Suk live in concert. Of course I had heard his name before...
It was an extraordinary experience when he entered the stage:
A guy entered the stage who had a specific personality, an aura.
That was the first time I saw Mr. Josef Suk playing on stage, it was at the beginning of his career.
Since I grew up in a musical family background,
from the first moments when I held the violin and started to understand things,
Gabriela Demeterová, violinist
the name of Josef Suk was very significant for me, because my grandmother admired him.
We had his recordings at home, we watched his performances regularly on TV.
So it was already in my early age when I realized that he is a phenomenon and the Czech violinist n. 1.
If I am to stop and think about Maestro Josef Suk whom I had the honour to know very well,
who left us last year and who was very close to the Prague Spring,
I have to return in my memories to my childhood when I attended the Kühn Children's Choir
and I once saw Maestro Suk at Rudolfinum and someone told me: "That is Maestro Josef Suk"
which was pronounced in the way that I should remember this moment which I do indeed.
And at the time I started to attend concerts when I was 15-16 years old,
I saw Maestro in a series of concerts with the Czech Philharmonic
and I guess I saw at least 20 performances of Josef Suk.
It therefore makes sense that the Prague Spring pays a tribute to its ex-president
with the concluding concert of the Prague Symphony Orchestra,
where the Violin concerto by Tschaikowski is dedicated to the memory of Maestro Josef Suk.
I would add that very often we don't realize when we encounter Czech artists
who have become famous in the world, how big their glory is.
The poster I was just holding shows Josef Suk in various performances and recitals with very famous people.
We need to realize how famous Josef Suk was and that his fame was fully merited.
I think that people got used to me as a violinist at the time when I was 25-30.
I mean they started accepting me.
I started to play violin when I was a small girl, my father loved violin.
It really pleased me and I enjoyed it, I felt the rhythm very easily.
Then professor Henyk moved to Nymburk, the pupil of Kocian,
he founded a music school there which I started to attend.
But my abilities were limited, I failed at Viotti's concerto n. 23 and at Drdla's serenade.
Then I realized it was just a pointless creaking that had led nowhere
and I stopped playing violin completely.
I was always at home, so I heard his everyday practice,
so I know all the pieces he rehearsed by heart.
And I think I was sometimes helpful,
because sometimes he came and asked,
in which position should he play this or that part and he asked me to listen to it.
Then he played two options and we agreed upon one.
We also had a lot of fun when we were choosing the repertoire .
The name Josef Suk is closely linked to the Suk Chamber Orchestra,
where I played for many years as a concertmaster and worked with Maestro intensively.
The memory of it has been always very pleasant,
we worked together on the basis of chamber pieces with solos or without.
Maestro Josef Suk was always faultlessly prepared, not at 100%, but at 150%.
His performance was always very precise, in spite of his age.
And I was so lucky that I could play with him here in Rudolfinum as a soloist.
And by coincidence, Ivan Ženatý played with us at that time, we played Bach's triple concerto.
And with Maestro Josef Suk, we played the Violin double concerto in A minor by Vivaldi.
I like to recall these moments very much.
The amazing thing was that we met with Josef Suk and we did not have to say anything to each other.
Zuzana Růžičková, harpsichordist
I mean literally nothing. As soon as we started to play, we had the same idea, the same tempo.
And we were both pedants which we both enjoyed.
Maestro Suk was a great pedant, he was constantly practicing during the time we played together.
He was very creative, he used to ask me if this or that bow was better .
And he practiced all the time.
But the basic image of what we wanted to achieve remained the same.
Maestro Josef Suk made his debut at the Prague Spring at age 25 in the middle of the 50ies.
He first played here as a member of the Suk Chamber Trio,
which he co-founded with his schoolmates at the Academy of Performing Arts.
But very soon after that he presented himself as a soloist
in the cardinal piece of his lifelong repertoire - Dvořák's Violin concerto.
He played more than 80 concerts at the Prague Spring altogether,
as a soloist, as a chamber player or as a conductor of his own Suk Chamber Orchestra.
So he presented himself in many roles.
And even after he stopped his official concert career,
he performed here with young artists with a chamber programme
that consisted of pieces by his grand-grandfather and grandfather Josef Suk.
We didn't have many hobbies, only cars.
Our primary hobby was of course music, we listened to the recordings of various great violinists from the beginning.
He grew up on these recordings, he was steadily educating himself with them, because he didn't have a teacher anymore.
He loved to read.
And then mainly the cars. He started to collect them with his brother in 1951.
They started with the motorcycle Manet, which they later exchanged for Cyndap.
I don't remember what their first car was, but they were all of course old used cars.
They mostly provoked laughter, we used to repair them often on the road or we sought help.
This is a Rolls-Royce I constructed myself, I glued it together.
No, unfortunately we never played together.
I regretted it, of course, it would have been nice to play a duet together at home, or a quartet.
There were many beautiful pieces in the flood of all the repertoire he recorded or played.
I was always in love with the piece he was playing back then.
We were in touch as families, although we never had enough time for that.
Josef adored the music of my husband, Viktor Kalabis.
So we agreed we would approach my husband with an offer to write something for us.
He wrote a sonata which we loved to play very much.
I was always very happy when Josef came and said
- when we went for a tour, for instance to the United Kingdom -
"Zuzana, we are going to play the piece by Viktor there!"
And we did.
So the bond between our families was actually mainly musical.
We are at the musical archive of the Czech Radio, a very significant site,
because there are many recordings, which are important and interesting for the present and future broadcast.
And there is an outstanding archive here, too.
There are tens of thousands metres of tapes from the archive of Maestro Josef Suk.
which we acquired from the recordings of concerts or from music carriers.
We are very happy about these carriers with recordings of Josef Suk.
They are outstanding and excellent, and they present a model for artists and listeners, they are a great experience to listen to.
And they also bring Josef Suk near us, we can still enjoy his beautiful art.
He caught my attention as a person thanks to his first-class behaviour on stage.
His behaviour was exemplary, he behaved like an English lord.