3. 11. 2024, 7 p.m.

Reduta Theatre (Mozart Hall)

Navarra String Quartet

The performance lasts 90 minutes including a 25-minute intermission.

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Josef Suk – Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale “Saint Wenceslas”, Op. 35a
Leoš Janáček – String Quartet No. 1 (Inspired by L. N. Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata”)
Antonín Dvořák – String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106


Hearing Czech quartet music performed by foreign performers is always an experience, and in the case of this concert, all the more so because the performers are a leading British quartet. All three works were premiered by the famous Bohemian Quartet, probably our most important quartet group, and the concert is a tribute to the legendary ensemble.

Josef Suk (1874–1935) embodied patriotic appeal in the year of the outbreak of the First World War in his composition Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale “St. Wenceslas”. The composition, which was the flagship of the world-famous Bohemian Quartet, of which Josef Suk was a member, soon toured almost all of Europe. A work of immense fragility and remarkable sonority, it is still one of Suk’s most performed chamber works.

The Quartet Inspired by L. N. Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata” by Leoš Janáček (1854–1928) dates from 1923. However, the origins of the composition date back to 1908, when Janáček composed the now lost Piano Trio, inspired by Tolstoy’s novel of the same name. The composer dedicated his very distinctive work, full of passion and emotion, to the famous Bohemian Quartet, which also premiered it on 17 October 1924. The seventy-year-old composer celebrated great success with the work, for example at the 1925 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) Festival in Venice.

The extensive String Quartet No. 13 is the first work by Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) composed after his return from New York in 1895 and thus represents an example of the composer’s last creative period. Dvořák wrote it as if in one breath in less than a month and it is one of the most mature works of his chamber music, and what is more, it is one of the most fundamental works of European absolute music of the time. The exceptional composition was premiered on 9 October 1896 by the Bohemian Quartet.

Jiří Zahrádka