String Quartet No. 2 “Intimate letters”


Program Note

The “Intimate Letters” quartet was the second to be composed after a request from the Bohemian Quartet who, in 1923, requested Janáček to compose two string quartets for them. Unusually for a classical work, the nickname “Intimate Letters” (“Listy důvěrné” in Czech) was given by the composer, as it was inspired by his long and spiritual friendship with Kamila Stösslová, a married woman 38 years his junior. The composition was intended to reflect the character of their relationship as revealed in more than 700 letters they exchanged with each other:

“You stand behind every note, you, living, forceful, loving. The fragrance of your body, the glow of your kisses – no, really of mine. Those notes of mine kiss all of you. They call for you passionately…”
The première of the work took place on 11 September 1928, a month after Janáček died. The composition was performed by Moravian Quartet.”.

About Leos Janacek

Leoš Janáček (Czech pronunciation: [ˈlɛoʃ ˈjanaːtʃɛk] (About this soundlisten), baptised Leo Eugen Janáček; 3 July 1854 – 12 August 1928) was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, publicist and teacher.…