Though Voříšek’s output is comparatively small (26 works with opus numbers and 30 without), it was varied — songs, chamber music, a violin sonata and a symphony in D major Op. 23, which has been broadcast in the UK and was recorded in 1995 (see link below), and which was well worth hearing. He is remembered chiefly for his piano music which not only seems Schubertian, but also a Czech lyricism which anticipates the early style of Smetana. Some of his works were published in the 1960s and 1970s by Artia of Prague. They include:
- 12 rhapsodies Op. 1.
- Sonata for violin and piano Op. 5.
- A volume of 9 compositions, published 1966.
- Piano sonata Op. 20.
The earlier violin sonata is an extended work in 4 movements. The piano sonata, consisting of 3 movements (no slow movement) is much more tightly written and much more dramatic, the piano writing being outstanding.
Jan Václav Voříšek, born in North-Eastern Bohemia, was a child of the local school teacher. He studied piano and organ at home until the age of 15, at which time his father sent him to Prague to study. From 1810 to 1813 he was a student at Prague University, and about 1812, he became a piano pupil of Václav Jan Tomášek. While in Prague he became acquainted with Cherubini and Weber.
In 1813 he moved to Vienna where he became a law student, and also studied the piano with Johann Nepomuk Hummel, who obviously thought highly of him, because when Hummel left Vienna for Stuttgart in 1816, he turned all of his pupils over to Voříšek.
He completed his law studies in 1821 and was appointed barrister with the Court Military Privy Councillor. His ambition to be appointed Court Organist in this year failed, but a year later he became second Court Organist. In 1823 the Court Organist died and Voříšek succeeded to the position, also teaching the piano at the municipal boarding school.
Unfortunately these appointments did not last long. He had suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis for some years, and in 1824 his health deteriorated and he died on 19th November at his home in Alsergrund No. 24 at the early age of 34.
- Czech Republic, Vamberk, čp. 87 (behind church) — 11 May 1791