Pages: 397, illustrated (37 plates)
In 1917 Janáček met Kamila Stösslová, the wife of an antique dealer, in the Moravian spa resort of Luhačovice. In spite of the huge difference in their ages — the composer was 63 years old and she only 26 — he began writing to her regularly after the holiday. Although she was uninterested in Janáček’s music and replied only spasmodically to his letters, she became the inspiration for many of the masterpieces produced by him in that extraordinary late outburst of creativity, at a time of life when many creative figures have lapsed into routine. That is why his marvellous Second String Quartet bears the title Intimate Letters (Listy důvěné).
Dvořák Society member John Tyrrell, an internationally acclaimed expert on Janáček, has edited and translated a comprehensive selection of these letters. This book is an invaluable companion for anyone interested in Janáček’s creative psyche. When first published this hardback edition cost £25, but it is available new from the Dvořák Society at a “paperback” price.