Arnaud Sussmann violin
Michael Brown piano
Smetana From My Homeland, Op. 128
Suk 4 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op.17
Janáček Violin Sonata
Dvořák Romantic Pieces, Op. 75
Smetana gave voice to the desire for independence of his fellow Czechs, so long yoked under the Habsburg Empire. Away from his triumphantly nationalist operas and tone poems, however, his quartets reveal the fevered imagination of an artist fighting for his sanity. His example inspired Dvořák to bring Bohemian and Moravian elements into his own warmly vivacious chamber music, creating an outpouring of dance and song. In this programme we look at the emergence of a new nationalist identity in the rising city of Prague as it cast off its Germanic traits, and explore the light and dark sides of two great Romantic composers.