Journal “Czech Music” Volume 12 (Abstract)
Alexander Moyzes 1906 – 1984
by R.S. Hopkins
[Czech Music: Journal of the Dvořák Society, Vol. 12 No. 1 (1986), pp. 7 – 11]
Initially trained in Prague, Alexander Moyzes offered his 1st Symphony of 1928 as a graduation piece. While influenced by Suk and Mahler, it nevertheless revealed a distinctive musical personality with genuine Slovak colouring. Moyzes continued to study with Novák, another significant influence. From the 1930s to the 1950s he composed many of his major works, including masterpieces such as the 4th and 7th symphonies. But with the sixties Moyzes faced a crisis in that advanced western musical influences were found difficult to accommodate by his generation of composers. He turned to neo-classicism instead, but one imbued with national sentiment. The 1970s offered a more favourable climate for Moyzes’ national style, leading to an Indian summer of creation, producing his final symphonies and string quartets.
Josef Suk: Fifty Years On
by Adrienne Simpson
[Czech Music: Journal of the Dvořák Society, Vol. 12 No. 1 (1986), pp. 12 – 17]
Dvořák’s favourite pupil, Josef Suk, showed his precocity, aged 18, in his Serenade for Strings, and in 1891 founding the Czech Quartet with fellow students. In his professional life both as composer and performer Suk let his heart rule his head, his courting of Dvořák’s daughter Otilka reflected in the lovely music of A Fairy Tale. The Asrael Symphony, arguably his finest work, reflected the emotional turmoil associated with the successive deaths of Dvořák and then of his wife Otilka. The more intimate side of Suk is reflected in his piano music, much associated with his domestic life. In his later years the volume of Suk’s compositions decreased markedly, largely because of his commitments to the Czech Quartet. But this did not prevent him from following up Asrael with three massive orchestral compositions, A Summer’s Tale, Ripening and Epilogue. From 1922 he was a Professor of Composition at Prague Conservatoire.