"Perpetuum mobile", Concert Caprice Op. 5 No. 4 for Violin and Piano
Ottokar Novacek was a Hungarian violinist and composer of Czech descent. He studied successfully with his father Martin Joseph Novacek, with Jakob Dant in Vienna (1880-83), and with Schradieck and Brodsky at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he won the Mendelssohn Prize in 1885. He played in the Gewandhaus Orchestra and in the Brodsky Quartet, originally as second violin and later as viola. He subsequently emigrated to the USA, where he was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Nikisch (1891) and was appointed principal viola in the Damrosch Orchestra, New York (1892-3). He also played in the re-formed Brodsky Quartet. In 1899, after a heart condition forced him to retire from playing, he devoted himself to composition. His works include a piano concerto (1894, first performed by Busoni), Perpetuum mobile for violin and orchestra, three string quartets (published in 1890, 1898 and 1904), eight Concerto caprices and other works for violin and piano, and six songs to texts by Tolstoy.
Influenced by the great European composers of the late 19th Century, Novacek combines wit and pathos in the intriguing piece performed today.