The life of Josef Suk (1874–1935), the well-known composer and professional violinist, was strongly influenced by his membership of the famous “Czech Quartet” (founded in 1892). Suk was part of the quartet until 1933, performing in almost four thousand concerts.
The String Quartet No. 1 in B-flat major op. 11 (1896) was the first composition alongside the Serenade op. 6, which was published by Simrock as a result of mediation by Suk’s father-in-law, Antonín Dvorák. Dvorák considered this work of the young musician to be “the best that I know by him.” Suk re-wrote the fourth movement twenty years after its completion because he was dissatisfied with the original version. Despite his use of the same thematic material, the new version differs so substantially that this movement is frequently performed on its own.
The primary source for the original form of the quartet was the second edition by Simrock. For the alternative version of the Finale the present edition is based on a score and parts marked with Suk’s corrections.
- With a foreword (Cz/Eng/Ger) and critical commentary (Eng) - Also includes the later version of the fourth movement from 1915